Monday, March 21, 2016


Wednesday, January 20, 2016
This is our drive home.

Day #1

We left Asuncion at 5:30am and headed home.  After a few stops we arrived in Jataity at 2:00.  I was expecting more of a home sweet home feeling, but instead I was overwhelmed by my little rustic house.  I cleaned what I could with the rag I found in the house.  Why hadn't I thought to bring cleaning supplies from the city?  Jeff and three kids napped as illness still has its hold on my family.  At 8:00pm the movers arrived with our things from our teammate's storage unit.  We watched as ants, spiders, and bugs poured forth from every box.  Gross!  When the movers left we began to cobble together pillows and blankets and 2 good mattress (the only ones without mold). We were exhausted!

 It is not fun moving with sick kids!

Can't tell if Josiah and Claire are sharing food with our cat, Boots or vice-versa

Thursday, January 21, 2016
Day #2

I still have sick kids and hubby. We think perhaps it's Zika virus or Dengue (both caused by mosquitoes).  Plus, strep throat is now making its way through our family it seems.
Teammates came today to help.    Sarah cleaned my ceiling, dispersing the spiders and showering everything below with cobwebs.  She also cleaned my frig and was a huge help with many other things.  Her hubby fixed my kitchen sink multiple times throughout the day because water refused to drain.  He and Jeff worked all day trying to get my new washing machine and dryer running.  Jeff made multiple trips to a bigger town 20 minutes away in search for parts.  Two of Ryan's MK friends came by bus to help varnish the bunk beds Jeff made in the states and put together the soccer goal.

The temperature is 97 degrees.  No air conditioning means it's pretty darn hot inside the house as well.  By 10 we fell into bed and slept until our neighbor's dog got caught  in the soccer net just outside my bedroom.  She got caught not just once....but three times.  Each time she made the most horrible high pitched squeals until Jeff freed her.
Julia and Josiah with our neighbor's dog.

Boys varnishing the bunk beds
Moving in

Friday, January 22, 2016
Day #3

Different teammates helped us today.  Christie spent almost all her time washing every plate, cooking utensil, Tupperware, and such.  Her hubby, among other things, helped get my kitchen cabinets cleaned, sanded and hung on the wall.  The water went out late afternoon - not very conducive to cleaning or bathing after a long work day with temps in the high 90's.  Dinner was lunch leftovers brought by teammates.  Minutes into warming it up our gas went out.  Being too late to get another tank, and no other food in the house, we ate taco casserole cold.  

The kids were filthy as we tucked them into bed.  They were miserably itchy too.  We all have chigger bites.  The three little ones are covered with probably 50 bites.  

Jeff and I again fell into bed exhausted and slept till Jeff began throwing up.  Then our bedroom fan broke and turned our room into a sauna.    

 playing with neighbor kids

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Day #4

It has been a rough transition.  We aren't sleeping well at night, the heat is draining, and half my family is still battling fevers and zero energy levels.  It gives me the heebee-jeebees thinking about the bug infested boxes I unpacked today.  Everything needed to be shaken out and wiped down. Rusty and moldy things were thrown away. It was sloooooow going. 

Ryan is sick today and couldn't play soccer with the neighborhood kids who've been coming around. We quit setting up house earlier than usual in order to watch a family movie with our new projector and screen. All 10 of us slept in the boys' room because we can't get a part to fix the fan in Jeff and my room till Monday.

Ant eggs laid in Jeff's ultrasound box.  Yuck!
terere breaks are a must in this hot summer weather

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Day #5

It was a warm welcome at church this morning. Hearing our dear Paraguayan friends reading scripture, praying and singing was a great reminder of why we do what we do and why we live where we live. The elders prayed healing over Jeff as he is going on day 8 of feeling miserable. 

 This afternoon several Paraguayan families came to visit and welcome us back. The kids are enjoying being home and spending all their waking hours outside playing. The soccer goal and trampoline we brought from the U.S has attracted kids to come around. Tonight we were finally able to sit at a cleared off table for dinner together.
Visiting on our porch

Monday, January 25, 2016

Day #6:

Jeff (who is still sick) and two boys drove to a town two hours away to buy groceries. While they were gone, a huge storm blew in. The winds were so strong that Ginny and I had to stand on the legs of our giant trampoline (while being pelted with icy rain drops) to keep it from blowing away. As we were getting drenched, Ginny looked at me and said, "There's never a dull moment here."

Joshua and Micah woke up sick today with the same old stuff- fever and vomiting. They slept all day long (even through the storm).

  The storm as it rolled in and passed our house.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Day #7

The a rain storm brought cooler weather and a leaky roof. My sink now drains thanks to a flexible hose Jeff found on his grocery run yesterday. The fan in my room now works thanks to a $1 part. Most of the unpacking is done and there's room to move around the house. Pictures are even up on my walls which makes me smile. It was great to be able to cook on my new stove, play games on a cleared table and read books to the kids on beds with clean sheets. We have only one sick kid and Jeff seems to be on the mend.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


January 20, 2016

During these last two weeks in Asuncion, Paraguay's capital, our Suburban has been in and out of the shop, four kids have been in and out of the orthodontist, three kids went to camp, Jeff got his medical permit renewed, and the rain has finally taken a break so we can move home tomorrow.

Claire is now riding forward facing!  

 As you can see, it has taken my kids no time to remember how to get dirty here.

Ginny had a horse riding lesson.

 We enjoyed some of our favorite Paraguayan food.

 Unfortunately, we have had someone (if not multiple someones) sick everyday since arriving two weeks ago - fever, headache, stomach cramps, and vomiting.  Three have double ear infections and two have had conjunctivitis.

Friday, March 18, 2016


January 6, 2016 at 4:30 our alarm went off.  We were sleepy-eyed but adrenaline pushed us out the door and on the road by 5AM.  Grandma and Steve helped drive the extra vehicle with a loaded UHaul us to Dallas.

What does it look like for a family of 10 to travel overseas?
21 Rubbermaid tubs all weighing right at 50lbs
A rented UHaul trailer to get all those Rubbermaid tubs to the airport
9 carry-on backpacks
2 computer bags
2 violin cases
1 baby backpack carrier

Flight #1 – 10:30am – Dallas to JFK

It was a long 4 hour layover in the JFK airport.  I don’t know how many time we took turns riding the moving sidewalk with Josiah.  He loved it.

Flight #2 – 7:30 – NY to Sao Palo

This was the long flight.  9 hours in all.
Kids loved the movie options.  Tyler and Ryan sat together and watched movies the entire time – 5 movies in all.  They didn’t sleep a wink.

Speaking of no sleep- Claire.  She was a pill on the flight!  She slept a fitful (tossing and coughing) two hours and that was all.  She would not sleep anymore.  The other 7 hours she was chatty Kathy.  I am glad she was happy but Jeff and I were exhausted trying to keep her entertained.  
We had a 4 hour layover in Sao Palo.  We were a bedraggled group.  

January 7, 2016
Flight #3 – Sao Palo to Asuncion – Arrival 1:30p
30 hours after beginning our trip, we landed in Asuncion. Julia exclaimed, “We’re finally home!”               
PTL all our luggage arrived.

PTL Claire received her Paraguayan visa without a hiccup.

We were greeted at the airport by 4 team mate families with welcome banners, claps, shouts and live Paraguayan guitar/harp music.

Back at the Guest House the terere was flowing as all our team mates arrived.

 Juicy mangos were dropping from the trees, teens immediately engaged in games of soccer and basketball, others were on ripsticks, kids were splashing in the kiddie pool, and yummy asado was cooking on the grill.  We feel so blessed!