Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Love Letters.

Dear Isanon, Oh boy, have we had some excitement this week, you and me. Thank you for your unending love and care. You are always my biggest supporter, and I am so lucky to do life with you.

Dear Mama and Tia-Roo, You guys sent me the best box ever, and I am so very thankful! From the fall decor, to all the different frosting flavors - you guys hand-picked the best little treats ever. Also, those caramel apple chocolates were the tastiest. I love you both and am so thankful for you guys.

Dear Fall Decor, you brighten my days. I never knew that a few little fake pumpkins and leaves could bring so much happiness into our home. I love every time I walk in the front door and am greeted by the smell of fall from the candles and the look of fall around the house. Even if it is not fall outside where we are at, I am happy that it is fall inside our little home.

Dear Crazy boys, your obsession with the camera makes me laugh. I remember a time not too long ago when we basically had to twist your arms to get you to let us take a photo of you guys - and now it seems to be the other way around.

Dear Netflix, Thank you for your existence. You allow me to continue to watch my "shows" and I could not love you more for that. Special shout-out to the show '24', Isanon and I just finished season 5 and we are so hooked. Jack Bauer, you are the man.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Meet & Greet Mondays. {Carlos Daniel}

Happy Monday!

Remember these posts? The weekly ones where I introduce a boy to you, and ask you to join us in prayer for him? Well, yeah...I've missed a couple Mondays. So sorry about that.

I'm back, with a special boy to introduce you to. This is Carlos Daniel.

Carlos Daniel is 14 years old and has been back with us at Hope since the end of August. He was here for a couple months at the beginning of the year, but then ran away - and only recently was brought back to us. Carlos Daniel is a boy that brings a smile to my face. He has a big attitude problem but for some reason, I have a really soft spot for him. I see so much potential in this boy, and have high hopes of a happy future for him.

Carlos Daniel's history is a bit fuzzy to me. I don't at all have all the details, just a few pieces of the puzzle. What I do know is that Carlos Daniel was taken from his family because of their involvement in drug trafficking. At one point, he was adopted by a family. That family tried and tried to make it work with Carlos Daniel, but he would get in trouble in the home, school, and wouldn't stay home. Because of all the trouble he was getting into, Social Services and the family decided to remove Carlos Daniel from the home. Recently, the family got in contact with the judge and is asking to give it another try. We are waiting for official approval from the judge, but the plan right now is that Carlos Daniel will go stay with the family on weekends, and be with us during the week...then if that seems to be working, he will fully be reintegrated with his family.

We are praying that Carlos Daniel sees what a great opportunity this is for him, and that he will take advantage of it. We are praying for all the hurts that Carlos Daniel carries inside. That he would begin to give them to Jesus and receive healing. We are praying that he would begin to learn how to control his anger and attitude problems. That he would begin to learn that people "telling him what to do" is only to help him. We are praying that Carlos Daniel would see his worth and value. That he would know how much God loves him, and how much God wants the best for Carlos Daniel's life.

Will you join Isanon and I in prayer for Carlos Daniel this week?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Love Letters.

Dear Isanon, How did I get so lucky? Tuesday night I went with Sirlene to the hospital because little Ana was sick, and when I arrived home at almost 10:30 at night, you had done the dishes, swept, and were just starting to mop the floors. I am so,so blessed by you.

Dear Authentic-Chinese food Restaurant, I had a dream about you this week. No lie. Isanon and I were there with another couple, eating your delicious food. And then I woke up, and I wanted to cry - because you are closing down, and that makes me more sad than I know how to express. Why, oh why?

Dear cutest dog in the entire world, Get off my black rug! You leave your little white hairs all over Everything and it drives me nuts. But, then you look at me like that and I don't know how to shoo you off of it. So there you stay.

Dear Crazy boys, you have brought me many smiles this week. Last night, Isanon hooked up his xbox in your Tv Room and let you guys play Halo..and I had the best time watching you boys play. Your comments about the crazy monsters, and the look of concentration on your faces were the best.

Dear Jolly Ranchers, you technically belong to Isanon (and he reminds me of that daily) but I have been so addicted to you this week. So addicted. Your little wrappers are everywhere - and I am 100% okay with that. Also, Watermelon - you are my favorite flavor, hands down.

Linking up with Oh hey, FridayLauren Elizabeth , and Friday Favorites.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Currently. {Vol. 14}

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.

Enjoying: The sunshine. Watching Isanon play soccer with the boys. Making banana muffins. Playing in the rocks with Ana Clara. Taking Tyson for walks. Blasting the air at night, then snuggling under the covers. Skype conversations with my mama and baby sister. Saturday night services that include whipped cream pies thrown in faces. TV Shows on Netflix. Iced Coffee. Burning my fall candle. 

 Dancing to: The other night, I was in the kitchen doing dishes when this song came on. I had just gotten upset at Isanon over something that I don't even remember now, and walked out of the living room and into the kitchen to clean up. Isanon came up behind me, told me he was sorry and began to dance with me to this song. There are so many hours of the day where I let myself sulk, where I let myself get upset that we are so far away from my friends and family. But then this song comes on, and we dance, and I listen to the words, and I remember. Remember the sweet husband that I have, the love that he gives me and how I am with him, there is nowhere else to be. 

Baking: Banana Chocolate Chip muffins with Cinnamon Strusel. The boys ask me practically daily to bake them something, and I finally got around to it this weekend. 

Drinking: Iced coffee in the morning, water alllllllll day, a cup of tea before bed. 

Reading: I finally, finally finished And the Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers (it was really good, just took me some time to get into it) and have moved on to The Good House by Ann Leary. I am only about 50 pages in, and so far it seems a bit strange, but its too soon to tell. 

Marveling: At God's unending love. I just finished the study of Hosea with #shereadstruth and it was deep. God's unrelenting love is unreal. I praise God that He doesn't give up or stop loving me, not ever. 

Goals of the week: 
[Two weeks ago.]
  1. Send off letters. // nope, they are still on the table in my living room. 
  2. Play cards with the boys. // we did, for about 20 minutes one night. I need to again though. 
  3. Have a girls day, away from the mountain. // Yes, and it was such a fun time. 
  4. Cook/bake something new. // Check! 
  5. Continue translating devotional book. // nope, I've been slacking on this. I forget. 
[This week.]

  1. Send off letters.
  2. Play cards with the boys.
  3. Organize under the vanity mirror. 
  4. Do a pinterest project.
  5. Tweak blog layout/design. 
    Verse of the week: 
     But I am the Lord your God from the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior. 
    Hosea 13:4

    A Mama Collective

    Friday, September 12, 2014

    Oh hey, Friday!

    Happy Friday, everyone! 

    One.// This song makes me happy. Listen to it. Love it. 

    Two.// It is banana season here in Brazil. And since the mountain has so so so many banana trees, there have been a bin of bananas out on the counter in the Cafeteria every day. I have been taking advantage and grabbing a couple bananas every night to have for breakfast the next morning. Two sliced bananas and a spoon of peanut butter has been my breakfast every single day this week, and I am not complaining!

    Three.// Speaking of those bananas, I went to the bin that is put out for the boys - and realized that quite a few of them were very very ripe. Knowing that they would be thrown out, I snatched them up for some banana bread. Then, I was browsing pinterest and came across these! Those muffins look so good, I have every intention of trying them out this weekend. It has been a bit since I have made sweets for the boys, and these look like the winner.

    Four. // When Paul and Nancy came to visit, they brought me these two treats (among others). I lit the candle yesterday, and was so happy about the 'Fall Smell' that filled my living room. And....I am more than excited about these bags of candy corn! 
    Five. // Last, but not baby sister turned 15 on Wednesday. 15...can you believe it? I can't. We skyped on Tuesday night, and I made her do dares to open her presents, which had me and my mama in tears-laughing at her. Possibly the best part of my week. 
    And..that is all for today. 

    Hope you all have an amazing weekend! 

     photo H54Fbutton_zps973d26e1.pngMomfessionals

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014

    An outing with Paul and Nancy.

    Paul and Nancy came to visit again. They were here about a week, and as always - it was so very nice to have them here. They bring with them such a sense of joy, the boys absolutely love them. And of course, Isanon and I love them both so much. Isanon and I are so blessed by their friendship.

    On one of the days, the girls were able to sneak away from the mountain and have a little 'Girl's Day'. We had such a great time together, and it was so so nice to be able to catch up. One of the things that continues to be one of the hardest aspects of living here at Hope is that we don't feel like we have a very great support system here. While we know that people do care, having someone sit down and truly ask how you are - what your plans are, etc. makes a huge difference. Nancy has always been such a blessing in my life and I am so grateful for her friendship.

    On the last night that they were here, they took all the house parents and the boys out to a nice dinner and then a movie afterwards. It is so much fun to see all the boys dress up and try food that they normally wouldn't have the opportunity to try. When the food came, I grabbed my cloth napkin and was putting it on my lap - when I noticed that the boys at our table were watching me, and also putting their napkin in their lap. It is little moments like those, that make my heart happy.

    Once again, thank you so much for all you both do. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to get off of this mountain with our crazy boys. Your love for everyone here is so apparent, and so appreciated. We love you both, very much. 

    Saturday, September 6, 2014

    Ademilson's Party.


    On Tuesday, one of our boys had a birthday. Ademilson turned 13 years old. As usual, we had a little party for him right before bedtime. Even though they all know it is coming, Isanon still makes up some reason to get them out of the house - so that we can do a little decorating and bring the cake in. Ademilson, like the others, was not surprised when he came back in - but he did have a huge smile.

    We started off with a game. Two boys sat in the middle of the rug, with a pile of socks between them. They were each blindfolded, then they had one minute to try to put on as many socks as they could. I now have too many pairs of stretched-out socks, but the game was fun, and brought many laughs.

    After the game, it was time to cut the cake. Isanon read a couple scriptures and shared a quick word for Ademilson, then all the boys laid hands on him and we prayed over his life. After the prayer, we all sang Happy Birthday to him, then ate some cake. When everyone had been served, Ademilson was given his gifts. Paul and Nancy always send a card, and the boys look forward to it so much. She finds the coolest cards - that sing, or light-up or something like that, and the boys get the biggest kick out of it!

    Happy Birthday, Ademilson. You have been in our house for about 9 months now, and I can say with all honesty - that I can see a difference in the boy you were when you arrived, and the boy you are today. You are learning new things, you are maturing. Remember and take to heart the things that Isanon said to you, you were wonderfully and fearfully made, and God Does have a plan for your life, Ademilson. We feel blessed and honored to be able to celebrate your 13th birthday with you, and wish you the happiest of years.