Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Big Show

Madge and Pita put on a big performance last night, showcasing some of what they have been learning in the first quarter of their school-year. I was so impressed. Mares did an incredible job preparing everything: poems, recitation, songs, psalms, plays and more! They were awesome. Here are some of their performances. The girls were able to keep all the performance a secret over the past two months, a real accomplishment especially for our 3-year old Pita. (Madge is already an expert secret-keeper.)

First Performance: Bom Dia, Tudo Bom?

Song: 7 Continents

Madge's Poem

Pita's Poem

Aesop's Fable: The Fox and the Grapes

Aesop's Fable: The Dog and the Sow

Maddy's 50 State Song

Pita's 50 State Song

Pita Psalm 23

Pita's Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Caleb Saying Cheese to the Camera

Our Homemade Water Slide

All of our things finally arrived from Virginia. It was the day before Thanksgiving. The girls promptly got out their bikes. They also wanted the slide set up. We jerry-rigged a waterslide for the girls in the backyard.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Appreciation. Simplicity. Love. Admiration. Hope. Joy. Tenderness. Realism. Fruitfulness. Abundance. Inspiration. Happiness...

I recognize all of these blessings when I am with you. I...WE love you! Thank you for being that channel of grace God desires you to be in our lives.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Baby Caleb Dancing

(Sorry for the fuzziness. The camera wasn't in focus. He's still a cute dancer, either way!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011


(Music: Wherever you Go, Pierce Sisters)


"The Lord nurtured and taught her; he guarded her as the apple of his eye. As the eagle spreads its wings to carry its young, he bore her on his shoulders. The Lord alone was her leader." (Dt. 32:10-12)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


...always taking place at home and is the foundation for a lifetime of close relationships.

The other day, Madge had her reading books out and was sitting with Little Caleb reading (he loves the dog, Pat, in Jane and Peter, and says, "Daw-daw! Daw-daw!" as he points to the doggie-- and any birds he ever encounters.) As soon as Madge left to come to the dining room table for a lesson, Caleb squwaked... as if to say, "Where do you think you're going, biggest sister?" Madge totally got the message and wanted to be finished with her lessons just to get back to her best lesson of the day: sharing reading time with her little "Jr." as she calls Calsee. We love you, our sweets. You teach us life's best lesson: love.

The Recipe for Sweet Imaginations:


The other day my sweet girls had a royal getaway in the school room as they built their king and queen chairs. I love the fact that there is minimal noise in the house-- except for the smooth sounds of soft music--because I get to hear all of the chit-chat, exotic trips the girls take through imaginary play, and the love messages they share. How blessed I am to have them in my life. Royal chairs or not, you two are my sweet royal ladies!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Never thankful enough

Each day is exciting. There is so much room to grow, in a number of ways. But, one thing that makes me so happy to practice our Faith is that there are constant ways and helps to grow. Each month we try and focus on a certain virtue, with this month of November being that of Gratitude. Although I am thankful for so many things: waking up, drinking a cup of hot coffee next to Caleb as we gather for morning prayers that pave the way of the day, kissing our three treasures and intently watching their sweet faces and studying their little mannerisms that are just so much fun to watch and soak up, pounding the pavement in a fast-pace-run with jogging stroller in one hand and precious cargo within it, listening to the sounds of beautiful birds sing hymns to the Creator outsidem meeting a good friend, having a good conversation that is full of nothing other than love and care for another; I could go on, but, something, someone I want to say "Thank you, Lord" for today is... my dear husband, my rock here on earth, my channel of grace, my helper, my inspiration, my balance, my goodness in so many ways.

I love you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Three Treasures words are necessary. You say it all with your sweet faces. I cannot help, but say three things:
I. Love. You.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pineapples and Perspectives

The other day as we were grocery shopping at Carrefour, our neighborhood supermarket, I noticed that there was a guy across the street with a wheelbarrow of pineapples. He was obviously a vendor, as he walked among the cars trying to sell his wares. He approached us as we were loading up all of our groceries into our two running strollers. Perhaps we seemed approachable because we weren't going anywhere fast or perhaps it was the novelty factor of seeing running strollers, or a family of blonds in Brazil. Either way, he came over.

He first asked where we are from. Finding out that we are Americans, he went on to say that he believes life is so expensive in the United States. (Mares and I have found the exact opposite to be true: living in Brazil (Brasilia, at the very least) is much more expensive than life in the U.S.) I told him how cars, electronics, groceries (seemingly everything) has been more expensive for us in Brazil. Not missing a beat, the pineapple vendor noted that pineapples are much more expensive in the U.S. than in Brazil. He did have a point. Pineapples here are like a half to a third the price of pineapples in the U.S. So, I suppose if selling pineapples is your livelihood, life in the U.S. is more expensive. It made me reflect on the reality that all too often we perceive and view the world from our unique prism, with our unique perspectives. The context can make all the difference. If selling pineapples is all you know, then life in the U.S. is expensive. It's all relative. Good thoughts that help me analyze my base assumptions and premises.

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Brother Joe

I came across these photos of my little bro. They're five months old now, but I couldn't pass them up without making a video of them to tell my brother I love him.

Working in the field of international agriculture, I liked this photo

Friday, November 4, 2011

The New York Times' Profile of Brasilia

In case you're interested in learning more about where we live, yesterday the NYTimes' travel section published the article 36 Hours in Brasilia. We think it's a great place to live. We have already been to eat at one of the restaurants referenced in the article, Mangai. Of course we have made it to the Metropolitan Cathedral.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

If You Give a Calsee a Pancake...

you better give him a stool to go with it!