Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BRING on the DIRT!

There is an overwhelming amount of dirt and mud that is trudged into my house on a daily basis.  I am appalled every time I sweep my cement floors, every time I shake out the sheets, every time I drain the bath water and every time I do a load of laundry.  Being in the country, having 7 kids, and living in a Paraguayan built house that sucks in dirt means that I can devote my entire day to cleaning and still never come out on top by the day’s end.   

And the kids are always dirty - sand in the hair, mud on the face, dirt under the nails, and grass stained pants.  It’s a never ending cycle of washing faces, stain-sticking clothes and reminding everyone to wash hands before eating. 

What’s the alternative?  I guess the 9 of us could sequester ourselves in the house all day like hermits and not allow any activities that kick up dirt.  There are many days when that sounds inviting.  But then I walk outside to call my kids for lunch and hear them at play.  Imaginations going wild.  Laughter ringing.  And all of a sudden it doesn’t bother me that their necks have sweat rings or that their shirts will have to soak overnight to rid the stains.  My kids love to be outside.  They see beauty in God’s creation and they want to explore it – hands on.  They have great imaginations, they love playing together and they play well together. 

I am learning to welcome the dirt and the mud because it means that my kids have spent more time outside swinging in the trees than sitting in front on a screen.  They’ve set up a “store” and a “classroom” rather than sulking in the house.  They’ve discovered and learned hands on rather than reading about it in books.  Sequester ourselves like hermits?  No way!  I’ll take the dirt.     

Saturday, June 22, 2013


May 30, 1013

We are rejoicing tonight as Jeff and I had the awesome privilege of baptizing two girls here in our town.  One gave her life to the Lord at a Bible study and the other prayed to receive Christ in her house alone one night after the Bible study.  We gave them an MP3 chip with baptism stories and scriptures on it and two weeks later, the girls came to our house and said they wanted to be baptized.  The following day we filled our kiddie pool, invited our neighbors, ate snacks, listened to their testimonies, and baptized these two gals.  These are the first in our town!  Hopefully this will be the first of many to come.  These girls are very brave making a public statement like this and have really counted the cost of entering into a relationship with Christ. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013


May 23, 2013

On the 23rd Jeff and I celebrated our anniversary!  15 years ago when we said "I do" we dreamed of raising a big family overseas, ministering to health needs and planting churches.  Now, here we are, a doctor and a nurse living in Paraguay doing medical/church planting missions with our 7 kids.  God is so good and has given us the desires of our hearts!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


 May 21, 2013

Josiah is 2 months and has doubled his birth weight (now 12 ½ lbs).  He got his 2 month shots.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Jeff let the kids give our two big dogs and the nine puppies their vaccines, which was very brave.  He only got stabs once by a stray needle (I won’t say by which kid). 


These pups are so adorable and it will be hard to get rid of them end of this month.  Our kids are already begging us to keep all 9 of them. Yikes!  Some of their names include: Pepin, Pepsi, Pilot, Ruby, Pluto, and Po.

Cuzco (Ginny’s pet goat) is still very much a part of our lives.  He’s learned to give “fist” bumps.


Friday, June 14, 2013


This is the first cold spell we’ve had and let me tell ya, these wooden plank walls don’t hold much out!  If it’s cold outside, it’s cold inside.  If a jacket, hat, and long underwear are needed outside, a jacket, hat, and long underwear are needed inside. 

It’s the same principle with rain.  If it rains outside, it rains inside.  Our roof leaves puddles on the floor.  The wind blows rain in through our walls.  Use the bathroom during a rain storm and you’ll come out looking as if you took a shower (yes, it is that bad). 

And, as if that wasn’t enough, our cement floors are seeping water up from the ground.  Blankets and pillows cast from the kids’ beds at night, clothes that didn’t make it to the hamper, dress-up clothes and stuffed animals on the floor are always damp in the morning.

With all the dampness, we now are living in high humidity inside the house.  Now it’s not just the things left on the floor that becomes wet, everything is damp – pillows on beds, kitchen counter tops, books on shelves, and clothes in drawers.  All our doors have all swelled, warped, and can’t shut.  Mildew has crept into our lives. 

Annie’s song “The sun will come out tomorrow” has been stuck in my head.  It makes me smile because I live in the land of tomorrow...the land of manana.  But manana doesn’t mean tomorrow, it means whenever is convenient.  So I guess I am stuck in this season of wetness, until the sun finds it convenient to shine again.     

Monday, June 10, 2013


May 17, 2013

I now have three kids in double digits (how’d I get to be so old?)!  We celebrated Joshua today – a very cold and wet day.  His birthday menu request was quite international – French toast, homemade empanadas, and Fondue.  He requested fudge for his birthday “cake”.  Today we will celebrate with teammates over a nice asado (grilled meats).



Thursday, June 6, 2013


Here we get to celebrate twice – once on Sunday (American Mother’s Day) and then again on the following Wednesday (Paraguayan Mother’s Day).


Being a mom means...

I have little hand print stains on my walls instead of framed art

I spend the majority of the day changing diapers, filling sippy cups and wiping sticky faces

I read Dr. Seuss when I’d rather be reading a novel

I play UNO instead of playing on the internet

My sink is full of dirty dishes and my laundry baskets are always overflowing

I can’t make it through the day with clean clothes

My food’s cold when I finally get done chopping everyone’s meat

My shower water is cold because I bathed all the kids first

My shirts are stretched out, my jewelry is plastic, and my jeans are way out of fashion

I am a MOM and I LOVE it!

Monday, June 3, 2013


Sunday, May 12, 2013


It normally takes us 1 ½ hours to get from our house to Yuty, but today it took us double.  It rained all last night and when it rains here the roads get nasty.  We knew what we were getting into.  Jeff dressed in ripped jeans and a stained undershirt; he grabbed his rubber boots.  The shovel and tow rope were packed under the seat.  We made sure our cell phones were charged.  Yes, we knew what we were getting into and normally we wouldn’t tempt faint and be near so adventurous but it was a chance to hang out with our team and we love to hang out with our team. 

Sure enough, we slipped and slid and fishtailed all over the road.  Jeff had to get out multiple times to dig around the tires.  We were stuck on one hill close to an hour while Jeff tried to make tracks for the car to follow.  Another time we got completely perpendicular in the road.  We were so thankful to see our team mates at that time coming from behind.  They offered us a hand (in the form of a tow rope).  We caravanned the rest of the way picking up another team mate along the way.  

We didn’t dare come back that night after the party less we repeat the day’s events in the dark.  Instead we crashed at our team mate’s house.
Did I mention that this was Mother’s Day?  Some families get dressed up for church.  Our family gets dressed for muddin’.  Oh the adventure of living in Paraguay. 


Josiah sleeping at teammate’s house...in a suitcase.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


I LOVE this sweet little guy who is growing way too fast.  I am so thankful for my teammate, Sarah, who encouraged (and pushed) me to get these photos done.  She spent and afternoon with me posing, positioning, clicking a camera, setting up props and helping to get Josiah asleep or awake or smile or....the 3 of us were worn out by the end.


Jeff's mom made this adorable crocheted sleeper and hat.
 Jeff's mom made this beautiful blanket.

Dog pile
up late studying....again