Wednesday, March 30, 2011


There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.
~ Walt Disney ~

Where we live there are no libraries, no book stores or even school books. I have really enjoyed buying Spanish books for kids to check out. They enjoy choosing new books each week and retelling the stories to me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

KIDS EVERYWHERE (and I’m not talking about just mine)

It is nice to have a home where kids enjoy coming over to play. Our place has become just that. It is not unusual to have extra kids hanging out, riding bikes, playing with LEGOS, or running around the yard. Sometimes it is just a couple, but most of the time (when it rain, it pours) there are 10 or more.

The pogo stick that we brought back from the US is a HUGE hit for kids and adults. They have never seen anything like it. It really makes them laugh! The kids are able to ride bikes on the street since there aren’t many cars. They just need to watch out for cows!

Washers (the game) is fun for them too. Jeff and his dad made this before we left the US.

Who says that the 6th baby don’t get a lot of attention? Julia is certainly not lacking in that department! She is a hit wherever we go. Of course, she LOVES all the attention she receives when kids come to play. They hold her, play with her, stroll her around and fussy over her like she’s going out of style.

Oh, the life....Julia in the arms of Reina

Natalia, Ginny and Joshua

Ginny and Soledad

Natalia and Ulyses come over each morning to play (and often in the afternoons too) with their mom who helps in our house. Our kids have so much fun with them. They often stay over for lunch or dinner (or both!) and about once a week they spend the night.

Antonio learning ride a bike for the first time at our house.

Ignacia and Marianna

I try to feed the kids each time they come. Ginny is a big help and will often help me make something.

playing UNO

Thursday, March 17, 2011


While visiting Nilsa Thursday, she served us chipitas. They were very good.

Her daughters came over to play on Friday and I served sopapillas. They really enjoyed them and told their mom.

Sunday Nilsa proposed that we exchange recipes. She came over to my house that afternoon.

½ kilo corn mill
150g mandioca starch
2 tsp salt
2 C milk
250g cheese
250g lard

Mix corn ill and mandioca starch. Dissolve salt in 1 cup milk and pour over dry ingredients. Add rest of milk till just moistened. Add cheese and lard. Mix into a thick dough. Roll into shapes and fry.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup water
2 cups vegetable oil for frying
Mix flour, baking powder and salt together. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in water to make a smooth dough. Knead lightly on a floured surface. Cut dough into 12 pieces, and shape into round balls.
Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into thin circles. Cut each circle into triangles. Fry in hot oil, until golden brown, turning when dough puffs. Remove, and drain well on paper towels.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


I’m not sure how it is possible that Julia can grow so quickly, but she is. I cannot believe that she is 7 months old.

She’s still a bit wobbly and isn’t quite sitting up on her own.

She loves sitting in her high chair.

We’ve given her baby cereal a few times. All the kids want a turn feeding her. She spits out way more than she takes it and continually tries to grab the spoon. It ends up in a big mess. Micah said once when Julia had cereal dripping from her chin, “She’s Santa Clause!”

I love how everyone's mouth is open

She definitely loves the spoon more than the food

Julia is army crawling all over the do her clothes get filthy with all our red dirt around. She gets up on her hands and knees and rocks back and forth. I think it will beno time before she is crawling “normally”.

Going for a ride

What do you suppose they are talking about?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


February 20, 2011

Joshua lost another top tooth tonight. Unfortunately this one wasn’t too loose when Ryan (accidently?) knocked it out, so it for a while. If I had known before all these kids started losing all these teeth, I would have been keeping stats on how many were “helped” out by rowdy siblings. I am sure it is way more than have come out naturally.

The newest loss...

TYLER and his BIKE
February 20, 2011

I remember when Ryan (our first born) learned to ride his bike without training wheels. The event had been planned out for a week, the location had been chosen, the video camera was charged and the knee pads and helmet were ready by the garage door. There was so much hype on that day as mom juggled both video and still cameras and dad ran along side of the bike waiting for the perfect moment to let go. Whether Ryan stayed on for 2 minutes or just 2 seconds before crashing, we praised and praised him.

Fast forward 11 years and to child #4 (Tyler). I called everyone for dinner and, as usually, they all come running from all over the house and from outside. After we prayed, Tyler said, “Guess what I can do now? I can ride without my training wheels.” Come to think of it, I had seen Tyler in the front road and thought it was strange that he was riding his brother’s bike, but I never slowed down enough to think why it was odd (his brother’s bike has just 2 wheels). “You’ll have to show me after dinner, Tyler,” I replied.

February 21, 2011

About 40 youth came over to watch Prince Caspian, which we projected onto an outside wall. I lost count of how much popcorn I popped.

February 17, 2011
(sorry, no picture this time)

We’ve switched to doing oral bible studies (partly to help include those that cannot read). What we have found is that, now that they have some basic bible stories memorized, they want to go deeper ON THEIR OWN. Several have expressed an interest in learning to read. Jeff and I are teaching each Sunday a literacy class at our home. We’ve invited just a handful of church members. Yesterday was the first class and 3 came.


The appendicitis patient Jeff sent to the town nearest with the hospital took the ambulance just to the bridge, then she had to be carried across it (because was underwater due to heavy rains!) and then catch a second ambulance into Caazapa.

Upon seeing her brother’s dead body (which had just arrived from Buenos Aires), the sister had an “attack of nerves” (as they say here). She was in a major panic attack...wouldn’t walk, respond, hands were contracting. Jeff gave her a shot to calm her down and a bag to blow in. As she began to wake up, the family asked Jeff to attend the funeral and to bring prefilled injections in case the sister or anyone else in the family had a panic attack. Jeff politely declined. However, the following morning at 7:00 we hear urgent clapping (Paraguayan doorbell) outside out house and cries of, “Doctor! Doctor!” It was the same sister being carried in by her family. This time she was completely catatonic (stiff). Jeff was so sure that she’d be back that he had a syringe already drawn up for her. Next, Jeff treated another sister who was also hyperventilating. A few hours later, after the funeral, a truck brought a brother who was also having a panic attack. Jeff sees these kinds of moments as prime time to share the gospel – people are in a desperate state and don’t know how to cope....they need Jesus!


The kids picked these flowers for me. They had filled Micah’s boot with water!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


February 18-21, 2011

It was a joy to have our South African short-term teammates, Terence and Michelle, out for a visit this weekend (they are living in Asuncion doing administrative work). We had our alarm set to meet them at 5AM Friday morning at the bus stop, but their bus arrived at 3AM instead. Needless-to-say, they were left to fend for themselves. Luckily, there were a few people out at that hour to point the way to our house (everyone in town knows where the North American doctor lives).

There’s always extra mouths to feed around here: Our 2 interns are on the left (thanks for praying for them, they are having a great time) and Terrence and Michelle are on the right.

Julia is sitting with us at the table now. Her head barely comes above it!

We packed a lot into the weekend – we were either going out visiting or people were over visiting us or we were just cooking and cleaning and being entertained by the kids. Terence and Michelle joked that they had a very luxurious weekend doing all kinds of things that they’d never be able to afford in South Africa.

For example, we went out visiting and the teens of the house decided to paint our finger nails.

One of the interns host sister came over and desperately wanted to fix Michelle’s hair.

So, after being thoroughly pampered – hair and nails - we decided to eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (I have a very yummy B&J recipe).

Next, we ate delicious duck. Paraguayans always laugh when I tell them that in North America (and apparently in South Africa too) duck is VERY expensive and we never ate it before moving here.

Picking a winner of a dinner duck

Killing the duck

Hanging it up to let the blood drip drip drip out

boiling the chicken to loosen the feathers

Plucking the feathers

And then you have a nude chicken

Singing/burning the stubble off

Scrapping any last hairs off. And then it is on to the gutting of the duck. didn't include these pictures.

The cooked duck. Sorry, we enjoyed dinner so much that I didn’t want to stop eating to take a picture of us around the table. Trust me, it was delicious!

We ended Sunday night by celebrating my birthday with yummy yummy s’mores (our intern brought marshmellows all the way from Canada for us). Our South African guest had s’mores for the first time!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


February 20, 2011

It was an answer to prayer when Rosi and Paulina asked if they could teach the children during church (it has been a while since the kids have had their own class time). I felt that the church was waiting on me to lead it, but frankly, I didn’t feel a peace about adding that to my weekly commitments. Rosi and Paulina approached me Thursday and asked if I would help them organize what they should say and do. Together we decided that Daniel and the Lion’s Den would be a great story since they already had that one memorized (one of leaders doesn’t know how to read).
Sunday morning they both admitted to being very nervous. However, both did an incredible job telling the (memorized) story and holding the kids accountable to retell the story and memory verse. Next, the kids laughed as they dressed up in the dress-up clothes I brought from home in order to act out the story.

All the adults in our church group are first generation Christians. It is amazing to look around the church circle and see so many children - children who have the opportunity to grow up in a Christian family and with Christian values. Please pray for these ladies (and others who, in faith, will volunteer) to teach our little ones with stories that they missed out on when they were young.

Paulina teaching Sunday School

The kids are all dressed up in order to act out the story of Daniel.