Monday, May 28, 2018

Sunday Funday Brazil in Crisis

What happened to my nice, normal week? Our weekly vlog explains:

It started out as a normal week for me to get English videos done and lots of other little things before my sister and goddaughter come to visit. Sure, Jessica is either teething or a little sick, meaning multiple night wake-up feedings, but other than that, we were going strong. And then THURSDAY happened. Caid got stuck on the road by a strike blockaid. Then he couldn't find gas for an hour, and I was late to teach my class (I really hate being late). 
Then we realize this is a much bigger problem than we realized, and that it isn't going away very quickly. As the video said, we are fine, we are not suffering: we are wondering how long our tank of gas will last. We are just a couple of steps away from normal, so everything feels a bit off. But at the same time, we are just a couple of steps away from serious food and fuel shortages, something the media likes to scare us with more than it should. Words like "Cut all electricity from the country" and "Military coup" are frightening. 
Brazilians are a wonderful, resilient people, and are freaking out much less than I am. This helps a lot. Most schools are closed, but everyone is just taking it one day at a time, so I don't know what tomorrow will look like. It angers me that those in poverty and children are always the ones to suffer first for government corruption. Living Stones is working to see and make sure that our communities are taken care of. Jesus feels a little closer when you are calling out to Him more often to calm you down. 
The biggest thing that has affected us is that airports are out/low on fuel, and so my sister and goddaughter's trip has been changed from them leaving May 29th to leaving June 1st. We are hoping that things have cleared up by then and look a little more normal. We are going to treasure every minute (even if there are less minutes available) they are here! We covet your prayers in this time of unknowns!
In lighter news: I found some awesome books for only $1 each!!! Wanna make some awesome stuff happen for some great kids???

Watch this beautiful video (thanks Craig Olson!) of the Trek for Transportation this year:

Reads from the Interwebs:
2. WHAT???? Little Women mini-series by Masterpiece theater??? Why wasn't I better informed of this???

Monday, May 21, 2018

Sunday Funday May

Here is our weekly vlog:

It was a busy, beautiful week as Tuesday we had an opportunity to work with 45 kids from a public school and share Jesus, Jessica is 5 months old now, we got to watch Caid's (our) niece graduate college (love live feeds!), got our first bi-racial English princess, and had a great Mother's Day celebration in Cajueiro Claro. Yes, my daughter was the one picking her nose during the presentation:
My mom gave me a play-by-play of the 8th annual Trek for Transportation over skype, and it was so great to see so many people we love were there and sharing and laughing and having good weather for once! Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen! Thank you to everyone who donated to help purchase a vehicle! 
We were sad not to be there in person, but NEXT YEAR is going to be epic:). We are planning to be there, and already have our tickets back to the USA for December 4th. 

Reads from the Interwebs:
2. Rubber duck lesson on leaving: I LOVE this visual! the sorrow duck and the joy duck
4. Quartz weekend: This is a little news blurb I get since I don't watch the news. This weekend highlighted JOMO: Joy of Missing out. yassssssssss

Monday, May 14, 2018

Mother's Day Sunday Funday

Our weekly vlog is, well...I made three language videos this week, so regular vlog making has been on hold. Our Mother's Day celebrations are split between this and next week, so that video will be ready next week. Feel free to practice English, though:).
Happy Mother's Day! 

I hold my breath
As I watch my children 
Live the life
I have chosen for them

The struggle of things 
I didn’t know were hard 
The victory of challenges
I have still yet to conquer

It is beautiful and heart-breaking 
These human that came from me
But aren’t me
Will I spend my whole life
In this breathless wonder-worry?

Reads from the Interwebs:
1. Grief and Benji the sheep: some amazing insights on grief from my second cousin (I think? We are related, whatever it is)
2. Raise real world changers: one of my favorite bloggers blogging on another favorite blog:)
3. Top 10 most valuable mindsets for Mks and TCKs: forget them--I need these for me!
4. The butchered sheep we could not name: This resonated with me: "In all sincerity, I was glad our neighbors were comfortable enough to tease me."
6. Summer: the expat season of goodbye: As our two closest families are currently gone, we are feeling the ache. I am realizing that my biggest coping mechanism is to just "HOLD ON" until they come back (or I come back, or go back, or whatever). And while this works for short absences, it definitely isn't a long-term solution. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

May Sunday Funday

Our weekly vlog is a mixed hair tutorial:

Tuesday was International Work Day (Labor Day for everyone but the USA it seems), but our plans changed as Sofia had the sniffles: we had a picnic on our living room floor instead. If you are wondering about our "Missionary" vlogs that seem much more like "Baby/toddler" vlogs: yes, we do both. In this phase of life, Caid is doing more of the missionary work, and I am filming what happens most with me: kiddos. When we are about to film something "missionary-ish," someone often gets sick and plans change. Ah, life. BUT, we are still doing missions, and things are going strong, and videos are happening there too--our YouTube channel is Building Living Stones, and we keep it (slightly) separate from our weekly vlogs. 

The rest of my week was shot as then I got sick (thanks Ana Sofia!) and had a high fever. Caid took over cooking and kiddos and by Sunday I was up and about again. Thank goodness too, because every first Sunday of the month, instead of just having communion, we have communion and then all stay for pitch-in lunch. We love our little church, which this year has the theme "One church, one family."
(Ana Sofia is off at a little table to the side, eating rice and beans)

Reads on the Interwebs:
1. The simple question to help you evaluate any ministry among the poor: POW!!! This got me! Because as much as I want it, Living Stones is not there yet! In 2015, when we had to better define who we were to better provide services, we also made Living Stones something more ridged and un-accessible and reproduce-able to others. Much prayer and planning is going into how we can change this and make more sustainable change! A must read for everyone! 
2. Dreaming in reality: "How does this reality compare to the dream?" 
4. Despair is where hope is born: "“Hope expressed without knowledge of and participation in grief is likely to be false hope that does not reach despair. Thus…it is precisely those who know death most painfully who can speak hope most vigorously.”--Brueggemann
5. When strong blocks love: "Love always begins with vulnerability." Interesting note: we love tax time because it means tax tithing and a chance to do something awesome for some of the incredible people we know and love in Brazil. As Caid and I were eagerly planning our gift-giving, we were most excited to invest in some young people who had asked us to be their mentors. Why? Because "you are responsible forever for what you have tamed" (the Little Prince). They were vulnerable and asked for help, and they have won a place in our hearts. There are fund-raising secrets hidden here! 
6. How to drive an expat crazy: So true!!! Made me laugh!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Last April Sunday Funday

Our weekly vlog has our little lady trying bananas:

I also posted three more English learning videos (sight words), but I doubt you will find them interesting. It was a pretty normal week, and we were watching our new favorite Netflix show "Somebody Feed Phil," when I saw what I want to do when I retire. The first episode is in Thailand, and apparently, they have these amazing sundays served in cut open young coconuts! So sorta like this:

Anyway, I have already dreamed about opening a dessert place called "Coco-Mix." All I have to do is find an easy way to cut open the coconuts (like a Samurai sword). I just join up the local coconut seller, the ice cream seller, and the fruit salad seller. We could even do vegan options of ice cream made with coconut milk! Perhaps I've been watching too many food documentaries. 

Don't forget to sign up for the BEST TREK EVER! May 1st is the deadline if you want a free shirt (because I am going to order them), but otherwise, just mark your calendar for May 19th to run/walk a 4k, meet Tele and a bunch of other special amazing people, and then stay for a picnic at Southeastway park. 
Reads from the Interwebs:
1. Short video on grief: "You don't get over grief, you just learn how to have it as part of your life." 
2. The stories we tell ourselves about Africa
3. The mistake I made with my grieving friend: Conversational narcissism. Yikes I struggle with this!