Monday, May 20, 2013



We just got back from the capital where we applied for Josiah’s American paperwork, Ryan got braces, Ginny got a harp lesson, our car got fixed, Jeff renewed his permit to practice charitable medicine here in Paraguay, bought 20 more mattresses for Timothy Training (teaching Bible stories to rural farmers....happening in 2 weeks), I ordered all next year’s homeschooling materials, we bought a lawn mower and a dryer.

Ryan's new look

Mattresses on top of the car

I just ordered all my homeschooling materials for the start of our new year in August. I nearly had a panic attack as I ordered 9th grade books for Ryan. High school here we come!

 I find it ironic that my reading material while nursing a baby is The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens. Seems like a conflict of interests!


Josiah (at 6 weeks) is sleeping better at night – at least he has more nights where he sleeps than doesn’t.  I totally blame Josiah’s midnight alertness to on his dad – Jeff too is a night owl and gassy.  About 30 minutes before Josiah wakes up and 30 minutes after he nurses at night, he is so loud.  He snorts and squeaks, roots and toots and finally lets out a cry.  Sometimes Jeff and I cannot help but laugh at the crazy sounds that Josiah makes. 

He smiled this week in response to Jeff’s voice.  Since then he has been periodically smiling at each of us.  So precious!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013


“We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures.  Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things.  Make you late for dinner!  Can’t see what anyone sees in them.” (Bilbo to Gandalf in The Hobbit)


Ask any of our team mates and they will tell you that we have had our fair share (and then some) of car adventures since arriving on the field 8 years ago.  We spent our whole first term, it seemed, waiting for a tow truck.  We thought this term would be different (new term, new car) but we still manage to wind up with car stories.


            On furlough we were in the car a lot compared what we were used to in our small rural community in Paraguay where everything and everyone is within walking distance.  In the US, we were always driving to church or homeschool coop or a friend’s house, the park, Walmart or to visit dad at work.  We drove all over Texas and the US visiting supporters and seeing National landmarks.  It never ceased to amaze us that we could get from point A to point B without an adventure along the way and arrive at the pre-determined time.  At first, it was very nice and comfortable, but after a few road trips it, quite frankly, became predictable and well....boring.  No medical emergencies showing up at the door while trying to head heading out.  No huge muddy ditches to be pulled out of.  No rain storms to cancel trips.  No squeezing into a tow truck car.  No last minute bus tickets.


As Bilbo said in the above quote, adventures can be nasty and uncomfortable and make you late for dinner.  They can be costly and stressful and a pain in the neck.  Car adventures are just one of many types of adventures a missionary faces on an almost daily basis.  We travel to Asuncion every 4-6 weeks for various reasons: groceries, team meetings, medical/dental appointments, car maintenance, etc.  The 5 hour trip is littered with our car adventure memories: Remember when we stood there for hours in the rain?  Remember when all 7 of us packed into the tow truck?  Remember when we road in our car on top of the tow truck?  Remember that gas station where so-and-so had to pick us up?  Remember when our car wouldn’t start after eating there? Remember when we could only go 10 miles an hour?  Remember when that “thing” fell off our car?


You know what we have learned while sitting road-side so many times?  Car adventures are fun because we get to do them together as a family.        


Let me tell you some other adventures our car has been on.  You see, our car likes to likes to stop for ice cream.  It has brought us safely to Asuncion to deliver my babies.  It likes stopping at missionaries homes where we can talk in English and the kids can play with their best friends.  It has carried camping supplies, beach supplies, medical supplies, building supplies and countless animals from chickens to pigs to goats and dogs.  It has moved us twice to fields that were ready for harvest.  It has been packed with mattresses for men to spend the weekend hearing about God’s word and boxes of Bibles in Guarani.  It has transported the sick to hospitals.  It has made room for friends, grandparents and many interns to squeeze in.  It has taken us on vacation, travelled in 4 countries and allowed us to see all kinds of places in Paraguay.


Yes, car adventures are fun because we get to do them together as a family.        

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Jeff built a tree house for the kids.  They named it The Crow’s Nest.   Tyler is the President because he’s the only one who has stayed up there ALL night long (that includes Jeff’s attempt).
Ginny says, "Now I'll never be able to do homeschool with a tree house outside."
My response, "Do your schooling in the tree  house."
Her logicm "And ruin a perfectly good tree house."
Jeff made me this flower pot ledge outside my kitchen windows.
Patients lined up to receive a number in order to get a consult. In San Francisco the patient load seemed to ebb and flow during the week.  Here in Jataity it seems to be flow flow flow and no ebbing.  Pray for Jeff’s stamina as he attends to “the masses” each day.

This was curled up on our fence.

Craft Girl at work

Our yellow lab gave birth to NINE puppies – all yellow like their mama.  Pray for our sanity in the weeks to come!

Sunday, May 5, 2013


April 25, 2013


Jeff had the privilege of pulling the tooth.

And, as anything around here, there’s an audience.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

more of JOSIAH

Josiah is really filling out.  His cheeks are chubby. Weight: 8lbs, 2oz. 

It got a bit chilly.  Josiah was bundled up in many layers when we had an outdoor showing of the Jesus film.  He’s wrapped up in the beautiful blanket grandma (Jeff’s mom) made.

At 1 month old Josiah weighs 9lbs, 11oz which means he’s gained an average of a pound a week over these last three weeks.  He is in size 1 diapers now and quickly outgrowing those newborn sized clothes. 
Josiah is still not a good sleeper at night!  No matter what we try to do schedule-wise during the day seems to help with the night time routine.  Sometimes he’s up every hour wanting to nurse.  Sometimes he doesn’t want to nurse and is just fussy even in our arms.  And sometimes he’s just wide awake for hours on end, but of course wanting to be held and preferring the person holding him be in a standing position. 
 Julia loves her little brother

Banner I made for Josiah 

Jeff commented to me after a sleepless night that he didn’t know how I did the sleepless night thing week after week.  My response: because I know that this will one day all be over and I might just miss not having a little one to hold.  So while I’m being woken up countless times between 10pm and 6am I’m trying not to be frustrated or quickly wishing the time away.  After all, at what other time does this baby #7 get my full attention and when do I have time to give him mine except in the middle of the night?  So I sit and nurse or stand and rock and pray over my baby or recite scriptures over him or just stare into his precious big eyes (which stare right back into mine).  Maybe it’s the whole “older and wiser” thing or the badge of “been there, done that” that has given me a bit more perspective this time around. 

I remember when our first was born, juggling nursing school and an infant was trying for me and I constantly longed for sleep that never came.  When baby #2 came I was exhausted.  Then came (rather soon after I might add) baby #3 and #4 and I felt time was creeping and that I was never going to function with all brain capacity again.  Looking back, I wish I had known to savor those moments a little longer because guess what? one day they grow up.  They grow up and spend more time kicking a soccer ball than sitting on mom’s lap.  They read novels to themselves instead of insisting that mom read Dr Seuss over and over to them. They spend their time playing computer games instead of hopping colors of the Candy Land board with their mama. 

5 weeks old (already!)

 Dad multi-tasking