Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Sunday Funday

No video this week. It is Christmas and I had a baby. Good enough reasons to rest.

Tuesday I had a baby. More on that to come (video and blog and many thoughts over the next couple weeks, I am sure) and Saturday night we came home and I climbed into my own bed and had a bit of the “How do I keep this small human healthy and happy?” Anxiety, followed by tears and a grateful prayer of “Thank you God we are home.”
Home home? Maybe. No. Yes. This was our first Christmas in Brazil. Not in the USA. Not sledding on Christmas Eve with my siblings and their fresh snow (jealous!). Not hugging my father who made it home from the hospital after scary blood clots were found in his lungs last Sunday. No, this Christmas Eve was feeding, changing, and sleeping with a brand new baby while snuggling, laughing, and watching Netflix with my big girl daughter and husband. And it was perfect (although my aching body kept yelling at me that I was in recovery and needed to quit moving).
Christmas was four parts:
1. Stockings and candy breakfast with just our little Fergie four
Skype Winzeler Christmas where we opened presents “together,”
Brazilian Christmas with our friends the Kirbys who cooked amazing things while I didn’t lift a finger,
FaceTime Ferguson Christmas where more presents were opened “together.”
We finished up the day with popcorn and Muppet Christmas Carol and prayers of thankfulness. It was beautiful and wonderful and thank you for being a part of our lives.
Jessica is one week old today (December 26th)

Reads from the Interwebs:
1. 9 Ways to make the Most of Christmas Abroad
2. I couldn't do this without you: "Goers get the glory, but the senders are the saints"
3. Opps, I went Home for Christmas: great visuals for culture/counter culture shock
4. Charlie Brown Christmas: “It is our shame and disgrace today that so many Christians… go through this world in the spirit of the priest and the Levite in our Lord’s parable, seeing human needs all around them, but averting their eyes and passing by on the other side. That is not the Christmas spirit…For the Christmas spirit is the spirit of those who, like their Master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor––spending and being spent––to enrich their fellow humans, giving time, trouble, care and concern, to do good to others — and not just their own friends —– in whatever way there seems need.” J.I. Packer
5. Parenting in real life: Ministry version: some great practical advice. Number one word: Intentional.

Here is a summary of our 2017:

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

A Week until Christmas Sunday Funday

Here is our weekly vlog:

As you can see, our life continued to be waiting on baby. We got a 41 week ultrasound, and everything with baby is good and healthy (baby grew almost a pound in the last week!), but we also needed to start thinking and planning for what to do if the baby DIDN'T come before 42 weeks (risks in pregnancy go up after 42 weeks). Ana Sofia and I also had light colds and stuffy noses to deal with, and poor Caid had two grumpy girls to deal with.
Friday night we finally had some Braxton Hicks (prep) contractions, and rushed to make sure everything was packed at waiting by the door, but they didn't last long. Sunday morning my father fell/passed out and was taken to the emergency room where they found blood clots in both of his lungs (something that if undetected, kills one in three people--so that is pretty serious!). He is resting and doing well (once found, it is much less risky), and hopes to return home by Wednesday.
I have been having mild contractions since early this (Tuesday) Morning, so am just taking it slow and using my contraction app to keep track. Lindsay is ready to come over and doula anytime, and we can head to the hospital once I feel the pain is getting pretty bad. Since I am so late (41 weeks and 5 days), the hospital will accept me even if I am not in active labor--so that is a blessing. Thank you everyone for all of your prayers!

Reads from the Interwebs:
1. Christmas Traditions that Travel
2. Despite the Circumstances: thinking about pregnant Mary having to donkey travel is SOOO relate-able right now:)
3. Gifts for third culture kids: YES! I will so need this someday, when getting play-dough just won't work anymore.
4. How to stop the fighting: "Mother's are mood-makers"
5. When you find love in your host culture: I commented on this on Facebook already, but worth posting again! I didn't marry someone from my host culture, but I did marry a third culture kid, and some things still apply. But mostly, I've seen dating handled well, and not so well in my 10 years serving as a single missionary--by myself, and by those serving around me. Mostly, I think it is easy for people (especially in missions) to fear or ignore relationships: when what they need most is communication and openness: this is definitely something to read and think about.
6. Ann Voskamp on #metoo
7. Missions and #metoo: Don't wait for someone to come forward

Monday, December 11, 2017

December Sunday Funday

Still no baby. But here was our weekly vlog:

Thursday I was 40 weeks and went in for an ultrasound: they said everything was great, healthy, and "Any minute." Now that we've been in the "Any minute" stage for a month, it is a little old. Ana Sofia was 40 weeks and 5 days...if things go the same, that would be tomorrow (December 12). So we shall see...

Reads from the Interwebs:
1. Overseas and Pregnant: another woman's take on things, with additional resources at the end
2. I hate Waiting: how lovely that Velvet Ashes Theme this week was waiting:). Not been doing that lately..haha
3. Tricoloring: a missionary getting citizenship in their second country: Caid and I hope to someday!
4. When Harassment meets Forgiveness: super powerful. I can only imagine serving in a country where this was common! Dear Jesus! We forget that so much of the world still is:(.

I really hope that next week I tell you I had a child. Or skip Sunday Funday all together because I had a child. Or something.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

All About Money

As missionaries, we feel a deep need to be transparent and available to those who are so kind to support us as missionaries. While we know that if God called us to someday be "tent-makers" (providing our own incomes), we could make that transition, we are so grateful to be able to use 100% of our time in ministry now because of the amazing people and churches that giving their hard-earned money to support us. For those of you who would like to know, in-depth, where that money is/has been going, and how much is/has been received, we have made these nifty charts. For the rest of you--feel free to ignore this blog post:).
All that to say that our expenses and donations over the past couple of years have been around $24,000 each year. This year, the costs were much more, but that is because of the added expenses of a car (which we had been saving up for over the three years) and extra ministry training (which is always worth the investment). In the end, both giving and spending are balanced, and both going up. 
Our plan is to be in Brazil until the end of 2018, and we are hoping to not have any big surprising costs on the horizon: our finances seem to be going just fine if they continue as they have. While we are in the USA for the first part of 2019, we will be able to see what fundraising needs to be done, as costs rise with a growing family. 
Thank you thank you thank you, and if you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me personally. We value your input, and will work hard to show you that we appreciate your giving, and will use it wisely. If you would like to donate to us, click the "support us" button at the top of our website: FiveMinutesOfFergie.com 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Advent Sunday Funday

Here is our weekly vlog:
This next week I am working on a video about our Christmas preparations--much different than in the USA! I'll have to do two parts--preparation, and then later, the food, since we haven't figured out that part yet:). This time last year we were back in the USA, with this happening:

I am currently too pregnant to deal with missing family, friends, and our holiday traditions, but there is plenty of time for that. This Thursday is 40 weeks, and my belly is already MUCH bigger than it was with Ana Sofia. Our week was pretty uneventful, as the only thing written on our calendar is HAVE THIS BABY!

Reads from the Interwebs:
1. Do you need a year of awesome in 2018? Yes! Being pregnant all year has been incredibly draining on all of us. Can't believe we are talking about 2018 already!
2. Missions means choosing the desert: I love being a missionary, and consider it a PRIVILEGE and honor. But this is also true. 
3. Culture books for kids: SOMEDAY I want these! They look amazing! As the daughter of a homeschool mom with more books than anything else in her house, these make me very happy--best list I have seen yet!

ADVENT/CHRISTMAS IDEAS from the Interwebs: 
(our Christmas tree this year)
I love Advent and Lent: preparing for my two favorite holidays! I think the build-up is just as important as the day-of. Pinterest, of course, has lots of great ideas, and I love, love, love all the resources from Ann Voskamp: "The Greatest Gift" and the new pop-up advent calendar (Listed in the links below)
1. What Advent Really Is: "Advent is a whole lot more than waiting for Christmas, Advent is a whole lot more than preparing for Christmas —- Advent is ultimately about preparing the way for the Light of Christ in a world dying for light." This also has ideas/printables for the "Night before Advent" kit (hey, start late, who cares?)
2. Coloring Advent: they also have coloring Lent! Sorry, these are not free. These are on my "someday" present list. 
3. Resources for Advent: by Sarah Bessey (She did this better than I did:))
4. Best Christmas movies to watch on Netflix: I believe all the "Santa Clause" movies are also going to there this year, but not Elf or Muppet's Christmas Carol, which are my two favs. 
5. Surviving Christmas Overseas: This is some of the stuff we are thinking about this year. 
6. A Feminist Advent: yes:)! I love me the Magnificat! (now you have to read it, to see what kinda cat that is!)