Saturday, May 23, 2015

Sex Education and Josh Duggar

Watching the whole story unfold on social media (which is how/the only way I see things in Brazil) is sad and scary. There is Josh, whose life is in shambles, and brings up the questions of forgiveness and what all needs to be done to right wrongs of sexual molestation? There are the victims, whose nightmares came true with the whole story breaking, and have they received the help and healing they need? There are the parents, and the questions of how/when to report, what is required for healing, and what is their full responsibility? As a soon-to-be parent, I ask myself “What would I have done?” and then sit in stunned silence at the whole horrible situation. Truth is, I don’t know.

Donald Miller put it well: Great parents are open and honest about their mistakes. Including the sexual ones. This next article is on a secular site, and I don’t agree with many things, but it pointed out problems that conservative (often homeschooling) families often run into—and their dangers:  and the importance of sex education.

So what will Caid and I be doing for open communication, honesty about our failings, and sex education for our kids? Still figuring that out. Come back in 10 years. Just kidding. Because that is too late. Here is what we are starting with:

By the time our child is 3, we want them to know their body parts by name, how/importance of keeping their private parts private, how to say NO, and that we don’t keep secrets, we only keep good surprises (with an ending date). We will probably use the “Yell and Tell” books from No Greater Joy (
By the time our child is 6, we want to read “How and When to Tell Your Kids About Sex . . . A Lifelong Approach to Shaping Your Child’s Sexual Character” and cover the first two books in the series offered here: We want questions and dialog about sex to be natural and flowing.
By the time our child is 10, we want them to know our experiences, decisions, and stories regarding masturbation, pornography, homosexuality, dating, modesty, purity, pregnancy, AIDs and STDs, rape/sexual abuse, abortion, contraception, not having sex before marriage, and having sex after marriage. We want to cover book three of the series we started above, and have worked through this Bible study as a family:

What are some resources/information that you have found helpful?

Thursday, May 21, 2015


My husband introduced me to this word, VLOGGING, sometime last year. If you don't know and don't want to ask, it is the words "video blogging" squished together. I have been blogging since 2005, but vlogging is new.
When we were thinking/praying/wondering/discussing coming back to Brazil as missionaries, one of the conversations we had with Jeff (THE tech guy on our crew), he told us to be good communicators with our supporters: "It used to newsletters. Then it was e-mails. Then it was blogs. Now it is videos." And since he knows me well, he added "SHORT videos. Attention span is about 2-3 minutes."
1. Caid's first "official" vlog, documenting the Winzeler family
2. Documenting my American baby shower
3. Visiting the amazing Charbonnel family
4. Random vlogs: time with John, time with our godchildren, a favor for my mom
In Brazil:
1. Arriving/apartment before and after 
2. Easter at the school and with Living Stones
3. A week in our lives
4. Random: beach time and Mother's day present
Caid has done an amazing job putting together vlogs for us, and it is catchy. Now I want in. I've been putting together ministry videos for a couple years now, ever since I figured out the free "Movie Maker" on my computer and did this. But vlogging and Caid's creativity has led to a whole other dimension, and I think it is time I figure this thing out.
These are some of my "Crossovers," between typical ministry videos and vlogs:
1. Mother's day with a touch of what it's like to be preggers
2. Trek updates with random discussion
3. Computer class dream with specifics

To become better at anything, you need to learn from the best. This guy seems to know, and then I found this family and really see the potential of...well...anything. So after being inspired, it seems like the next step is to figure out our "genre" of vlog. Here are some major types (no, I did not watch all of these:
Gamer/Video game
"How to"
Top Vlogs 2014
From what I saw, I think it is safe to say every phase of life, hobby, skill...has plenty of people posting vlogs about it. So what about Caid and I? After studying some pregnancy vlogs, family vlogs, missionary vlogs...I think there is definitely some space for improvement and attempts from the Fergusons to vlog. YESSSSSSSS.
So, we are calling Caid's youtube channel and my blog "Five Minutes of Fergie" with the tag line: "Short Bursts of the Ferguson Family's Adventures." And yes, I will try to keep everything to five minutes.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Eight Months Pregnant

What a busy, incredible month it has been! Our apartment is baby ready and makes me very happy, as seen here. We have our Brazilian baby doctor all set up (it takes an amazing doctor to make it worth it to have to wait 4 hours for an appointment like we did last Wednesday) as you can read here. We are learning and settling into life in Brazil, as seen here, and it is my first Mother's day as a mother: read here. Caid put together an awesome vlog of what life is like for us Fergusons:

After reading all of the baby books and articles and conversations with wise women, I have started to piece together my "guidelines" and ideas of what I want to do for mommyness:

1. PREGNANCY AND LABOR: Know yourself and what you want
   a. As a Woman: know your body and what it needs to be healthy in all phases of pregnancy/mommy--read books and watch videos--be informed and empowered by birth and how awesome your body is to grow a human! 
   b. As a Mother: journal your thoughts in becoming a mom (probably why God gave you nine months to get used to the idea). Write a birth plan (it helps you learn all those technical terms)
   c. As a Wife: spend extra time/take dates with your husband--this is the (last) time for just you two! 

2. FIRST 10 DAYS: Get to know your baby ASAP. Caid and I will be  (Lord Willing) taking 10 days after birth to do nothing but bond. 
   a. Since we are far from family, we will be having a cooking/cleaning lady come in 3x a week for the first two weeks so we can focus on us time and I can REST.
   b. Caid will let visitors know we would LOVE to see them--after our 10 days are up (we will warn people beforehand as well).
   c. We are NOT worried about spoiling our baby--she was used to being held and fed 24/7 for 9 months, she needs some time to adjust. 
   d. We are going to keep track of feedings/poop to make sure she is getting the nutrients she needs (making sure she stays awake for a whole feeding--30ish minutes--at least 8 times a day) 

3. FIRST THREE MONTHS: Don't pile on the pressure (give yourself grace)
   a. Baby is still getting used to being outside the womb, so use the 5s method (swaddling, side/stomach, shhhh, swinging, and sucking) and don't be worried about spoiling them.
   b. As you get to know the baby and yourself, begin establishing routines that work for both of you (suggestion: eat/awake/sleep patterns every 3ish hours and then 5 hours at night)
   c. Don't plan much outside the house--don't feel forced to exercise/lose birth weight and return to all your old habits/routines. Don't feel like you need to visit everyone/let everyone see the baby. 

4. THREE MONTHS AND BEYOND: You decide what goes, not the baby 
   a. You know what is best for everyone--and so you stick to it--for the sake of everyone
   b. After 3 months, focus on the training that you have decided is important
   c. Suggestion: eat/awake/sleep routine around breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, mid-afternoon, dinner, bedtime, then sleep 9-10 hours at night
   d. Around 6 months, add solid foods after breast feeding during the three mealtimes. 
   e. After three months, it is normally safe to exercise like normal
   f. Don't micro-manage or worry about things--it never helped anything ever
   g. Think "training" not "discipline." 

First Mother's Day

Ana Sofia is 8 months old already, so I am counted with the momma's today:). Friday night we celebrated Mother's day in Cajueiro Claro, and the women all around me were crying (including the woman who is one week more pregnant than me), while I was smiling. Does this say I just don't know much yet?
At the trash dump community, the kids were coloring pictures for their mom when one girl said that her mom had died, another one said they didn't live with their mom. 
"I am not with my mom right now either--she is far away in the United States," I shared, "But I am making/giving things for some women who have done a lot for me--are there other women who have helped you out?" 

Amazing how God puts us right where we are supposed to be, when we are supposed to be there. We made chocolate roses for the kids to give their mothers/important women in their lives...but they had to practice what they would say before I handed them out.
Some of the older boys asked for roses too, laughing, to which I warned them that if they ate the chocolate themselves, God would know and I would pray it made them sick. So there. They walked off with quite somber faces after that :). 
And then today, my wonderful husband surprised me with this:

Happy Mother's day to all those who "mother" is a full time job! 

Friday, May 8, 2015

If You are Thinking of Getting an Upgrade...

Here is a phone story for you...

Almost three years ago, Caid got on a Sprint plan with the (then new) Iphone 4S. When I started dating him, I thought he was spending too much money ($90 a month)--since I had a flip phone and a pay-as-you-go plan of $30 a month. But I did enjoy it when his GPS found us home, and listening to Spotify and Pandora on trips, and great pictures taken and then posted in two seconds...I sighed and enjoyed the "necessary evil" of this added monthly cost when we got married.

After two years, Caid's plan went down to $60 a month, and the Iphone 6 came out. We were told that Sprint Iphones could not be unlocked or used Internationally, and if we wanted to sell it back, it was worth $20. I figured I could use it as an ipod rather than get $20! Then a friend told us that a law had recently passed that after two years, phone companies were obligated to unlock your phone (if you ask) since you had essentially (over) paid for the phone. We called up Sprint once more and were transferred to their international department, since we let them know we were moving to Brazil. In 20 minutes the phone was unlocked and has been an amazing asset to our ministry here in Brazil (and my first smartphone).

That said, if you have a nice smartphone (Iphone, Samsung, or LG work in Brazil), but are thinking of upgrading--here is a great idea: unlock your old phone and give it to Steve Turner to bring to Brazil for one of the pastors/ministry workers. Getting a decent phone with a camera and who knows what else (apps) into the hands of these dedicated workers can enable them to send updates and document their work much easier. Thank you technology!