Thursday, May 26, 2016


Wednesday was Jeff's 40th birthday. Mid-morning Paraguayan friends drove into our yard, jumped out with guitars and began singing happy birthday in Spanish and Guarani. They then presented him with a dulce de leche cake.

 Almost 40 of our missionary friends came for lunch which was a complete surprise to Jeff.
The day before the kids and I made nearly 60 enchiladas for the occasion (Jeff was napping).

We had house guests for two nights and unfortunately nearly the entire time they were with us we had no running water. It didn't help that those were very hot (mid-90's) and sticky days.

We finally got water again after over 48 hours. We all lined up for showers. It never felt so good to be cooled and cleaned.

Monday, May 23, 2016


What a blessing it was to camp for two nights with 3 other missionary families. The weather was great. The little kids loved splashing in the many shallow pools of river water. For hours the boys jumped into the water from a rope swing. We ate like kings - big breakfasts and lots of grilled meat. An Airsoft game was a highlight. Several kids gathered their courage and for the first time leaped from the jumping rock. Moms enjoyed sitting and talking.

 11 in a tent (our family plus a friend of Ginny's) and our puppy,  Crowded!
After late nights, interrupted sleep due to Claire (who still doesn't sleep well at night!), the puppy in our tent at night (she was too young to leave at home and whined too loudly to leave outside out tent), cows and chickens (there are cows and chickens everywhere in this country), and early mornings we were exhausted when we arrived home Sunday evening.
We were greeted by meat juice coming on our porch. The door to our stand up freezer had been ajar and everything in it was ruined. Hundreds of dollars of it was heartbreaking!
While camping we purposely left our little kitty inside the house with food, water and a litter box. When we got home, however, the kitty was in our yard. The next morning Jeff and I noticed that one of our wooden wall planks must have rotted off because it was leaning against the house leaving a gap at the top where the cat must have got out. Only later did our five year old neighbor confess that several kids heard our cat meowing (why were they even in yard in the first place?) and they removed the plank to let it out!

It’s one thing to sit outside in the pitch black and sleep with no air flow while camping but to do that in your house is a different story. But that was our story the day after getting home from camping. At 7pm we noticed our fuse box smelled like it was burning and when we investigated, we realized that it was melting. Jeff decided to cut all power to the house to avoid a fire to our wooden house. The instant he did that, it was so hot and still, pitch dark and buggy. We all slept horribly, pouring with sweat as we lay on top of sheets with bugs buzzing around our ears. Thankfully the electrician came the following day and fixed the problem.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

mother/teacher/guidance counselor

From a mother/teacher/guidance counselor’s perspective, it has been a nightmare trying to get Ryan college credit in this country (either through AP testing or CLEP testing).  It is just another reminder that “we aren’t in Kansas anymore”.  Ryan took 2 CLEP tests while in the US last year and did well.  He’d love to take that type of test again but nowhere in Paraguay (or in Brazil or Argentina) do they offer those tests.  In Paraguay there is only one approved site for the AP test – the American school in Asuncion.  After several talks with their guidance counselor and a letter to the director, the school will only order tests their own students are signed up for.  They will order an extra for Ryan, but they will not order a different subject for Ryan.  This policy is frustrating because Ryan is not taking the same classes that their students are taking. In the end, Ryan decided to take a stab in the dark and sign up for three tests for which he hasn’t taken the courses.
Thankfully there was someone from the states coming this way and I was able to order prep materials.  Our team mate put them on the bus in Asuncion to be dropped off in our town (this is how we do things since there’s no mail delivery services).  Tuesday Jeff went to the gas station (aka bus stop) and waited two hours from 8-10pm for the bus which was supposed to arrive at 8:30.  It never came so Jeff came home.  It must have come through much later because the next day, upon inquiring, we learned it was in a town 1 ½ hours beyond our town.  That terminal said they would put our package on the bus Wednesday.  But it rained Wednesday and no buses traveled that day.  Thursday the roads were still too muddy for a bus to travel.  Friday Jeff was told by a worker at the bus terminal that he had physically put the package on the bus.  Jeff waited an hour for the bus but when it arrived there was no package for us.  Jeff was so frustrated after talking to the terminal worker who said they would not deliver a package to a town that did not have a proper terminal (ours doubles as a gas station). 

Thankfully Tuesday a team mate was coming to our town and was able to pick up our package and hand deliver it to us.  Ryan is now hard at work studying. He will take three AP tests beginning of May and the SAT beginning of June.  I am always so blessed by this guy’s diligence.

Sunday, May 15, 2016


March 29th - 15 months - Claire is finally up and walking!

These two - Julia and our neighbor girl - play together all day long, every day.  They sing, laugh, jump, build, color, ride and run around.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


 Sunday Ginny and I helped the church ladies make traditional chipa (corn meal bread). It is then cooked in a tatakua (fire hole).

Thursday, May 5, 2016


We did a little early birthday celebration while up in the city so we could give him the tricycle gift (there’s more space to ride in at the guest house). 

 Then on his actually birthday we just celebrated with our family and yummy cake.

 A bike for everyone including our neighbor who is over all the time.
 potty training.