Monday, April 28, 2008

Nomads, No More!!!

Hallelujah! Praise God! After 4 1/2 months of living a nomadic life of living with others, we have found a home to rent. It seems to have everything that we need, and is MUCH more modern then I ever thought I'd find here in Americana. Don't get me wrong, there are beautiful new homes here, but they just seemed out of our league. I'm not sure the year this house was built, but it's very modern. I can't wait to post pictures of it. We start moving in next week.

The problem is, we don't actually have much to "move" in. I own nothing to furnish a house. SO, this is where more miracles are bound to happen. Home furnishings are very expensive here, especially electronics. I've been patient this long for my own space, I'm going to be patient and see how God works out furnishing this house.

It's funny how my perspective has changed. The first house we owned in Colorado Springs, was in "Cookie Cutter Valley". Meaning, all the houses were basically the same and very close. I hated that my back neighbors were sooooo close and could peer down into my yard and house. Now, I'm thrilled to move into a house that doesn't even have a yard, or any dirt anywhere (everything is covered with tile), and my neighbors homes are actually connected to ours.

It's amazing to see how my life has changed over the past 4 months. Praise God for His faithfulness and lessons learned along the way. Stay tuned as I wait expectantly to see how God is going to move next!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"We're Coming To America"

Yes, the title is true. We're coming to America! Our prayers were answered about our immigration interview date. Here's a little update of what we've been through.

In February, we got an email from our friend and "Ministry Administrator", aka Brian, sending us a copy of a letter from Immigration in the U.S. (We have been through the immigration process since we've been married for Renato's Green Card.) The letter stated that we had an interview with them in Denver....THAT DAY WE GOT THE EMAIL. Obviously, we didn't make it to the meeting. :) Then we had to send in this letter and more hoop jumping to request another date, preferrable at least a month out so we could fly in from Brazil for the meeting. Praise God! Our interview in Denver is scheduled for May 30th.

The interview is very important. If we wouldn't have been able to make it, Renato would have lost all his status and how far we've come in the immigration process. And let me tell you, I DO NOT want to start over again. The green card process is VERY expensive, VERY time consuming, and VERY MUCH a pain in the rear-end! So again, THANK YOU LORD that this worked out well.

This time, we had time to actually get some airline tickets and will be able to make it to the meeting. We got the new letter yesterday and today we bought our tickets. We'll be in the Springs May 24th-June 2nd. We look forward to seeing all our friends while we're there. AND eat as much Mexican food as possible!!!! AND stock up on the things that I can't get in Brazil. I already started my list. :)

So if you're in the Springs the last week of May, we'd love to see you! I love that I get to say, "See you soon"!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Haircut #2

Here are some pics of Camden's Second Haircut. This one was much better than the first. He sat really well this time, maybe it was because I was feeding him is favorite "snacks" to keep him content. :) These pics were taken this morning before breakfast. He wanted to eat........and to get the camera!



Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Teeth, Teeth, and more Teeth

I should have known it would be an interesting journey of teething, when Camden seemed to start teething at 3 months and not get his first tooth until 6 months. Since then, the teeth have been coming in steady! He now has 8 teeth completely in, 1 molar 1/2 in, and working on 4 others. Yikes! When he turned 1, he was sick for about 3 weeks straight with high fevers and ear infections and throat infections and rashes. He was pretty miserable. When we found a pediatrician here, she said he was getting in 4 molars at once, and because of that, his immune system was weak and that's why he was easily getting sick.

Praise God! Camden hasn't been sick for awhile now, just regular teething stuff happening with no major sickness. He sure is a little trooper!

The best part about getting more teeth for Camden, is getting to brush them. He LOVES brushing his teeth! Every time we walk in the bathroom, he points to the shelf and says, "Teeth, teeth!" Here is a cute picture of him walking around brushing his teeth.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Nomadic Life-Continued

A couple of months ago I wrote about the life of a nomad and how we're in transition. Well, the nomadic life continues to this day. We have been so blessed by friends and family that have been very hospitable and opened up their homes to us. Since we've gotten to Brazil, we've been staying with Renato's parents. It has been such a huge blessing, but yet challenging at times. I came across this Proverb today during my reading:

Proverbs 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

My heart cried out to God when I read that, "Lord, I would LOVE to build up my own house. I pray for a place to call our own.....SOON!"

The past 2 months I've really missed a place of my own. My own space. My own home. I've even envied people here who live in the tiniest of houses, because they have their own home. In the U.S., it's all about BIG houses and BIG cars and BIG everything. Here, I've been learning a lot about being content where God has me.

So I'm learning how to "build up my own house" in other ways. I'm building not a physical house right now, but a spiritual house. I'm building up a house of faith, contentment, peace, patience, and love. God is working on all of these areas in my life right now and building me up a spiritual mansion.

The hardest and most challenging of these is patience for me. I'm in the right country to learn patience. EVERYTHING here takes 3 times as long as it would in the U.S. But what I'm really missing and having a hard time being patient for is my house. So on continues the process of building up my patience while I add a "spiritual brick" to my mansion with every day I learn more about God. What a beautiful mansion it will be!!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Parenting a Toddler

What noone ever told me about parenting a toddler:

~Feeding Camden takes twice as long as before, so you need twice as much patience as he learns to feed himself. Extra patience when he is learning to feed himself with a fork.

~The exhaustion of running around after Camden every waking minute of the day. He NEVER stops running or exploring everything around him and within his reach.

~The pride I feel when he learns or conquers something new.

~That he would scream every time the phone rings because he wants to "talk". He LOVES to talk on the phone. :)

~The overwhelming feeling of love that washes over me when he says "Mama" and runs into my arms.

~That I would pray for wisdom for parenting skills every hour of the day. Especially when he's throwing a "toddler tantrum".

~The absolute joy of laughing with him every day. What a joy he is!!

~How blessed I feel every day that God has given me this amazingly fun, energetic, joyful, loving, and special little boy.

Thank you Lord!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Have you seen the movie, "Green Card"?

The other day the Feds. came looking for me. No really. I'm serious. The Brazilian Federal Police showed up at our door checking in on me. It was a seen straight out of the movie Green Card. The Federal Police take care of all immigration here in Brazil. They don't have a separate agency just for immigration like the U.S.

When Renato and I moved here we got all the paperwork ready for me to file an application for a Brazilian Green Card, or Permanent Resisdent Visa. It was sooooooo much easier then the U.S., and a LOT cheaper, and a LOT faster too. (I know this since we're in the same process in the U.S. with Renato.)

Back to this past week when the Feds showed up. They told us they'd come, but it had been a long time, so we thought maybe they wouldn't show. 2 men came (not in uniform, that would have been a little scary!).

This is what they checked out. They checked out our closets to see all of our clothes and that they were together. They checked out the bathroom for all the toiletries, like toothbrushes and such. They asked to see our shoes, which I thought was a little funny. Then they asked to see our dirty laundry! I'm so not kidding! I almost busted out laughing at that one, and then did when Renato opened the bin and my underwear were right on top!!! He had to point out a clothing item of his, mine, then Camden's. The last thing they did was interview a neighbor, which happens to be Renato's aunt, so hopefully that went well.

They didn't ask us any questions though, which I was a little sad about. At the end my mother-in-law served them Cafe Zinha (a tiny cup of really strong and really sweet coffee), so hopefully that sweetened them up a bit. They were very nice about the whole thing, and I have to say, I felt as though I passed the test. (The test being that I married Renato for love and not for a Brazilian Green Card.) :) I guess we'll find out soon!

I'm praying that my immigration process here continues to go well. Please pray for Renato's immigration process in the U.S. It is not an easy process at all. Pray for favor with all forms and sppointments with added grace thrown into every aspect. Thanks for your prayers!

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Psalm 57:9 I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations.

Lately I've been feeling like I haven't been talking to people about God much. I come from a city and church and group of friends that are filled with God. Every time you went out to eat you could overhear people talking about God, or see people praying or having their Bible with them. Every time I got together with friends we would talk about what God is doing in our lives.

Here in Brazil, I'm really missing the immersion of God. I'm kind of stuck in my house, and if I wanted to talk to people about God, I couldn't because I don't speak their language well enough yet.

So I've been pondering how I can praise God among the peoples with what I have. The first thing I thought of was my actions. Actions speak louder then words. I'm usually at home here with my family, but that doesn't mean they aren't watching me and my actions. My witness here to my family is how I treat my husband, my son, and them. They may not understand my words, but they do understand the tone of my voice, and my smile.

The other tool I have is my computer. I communicate daily with people through email and also this blog. So my goal from now on is to incorporate a little bit of God into my emails and posts.

I think the best thing I can do to praise God is to talk to Camden about Him. Tell him stories from the Bible, sing songs with him, pray with him. I do some of these already, but I know I can be doing more.

So how are you praising God among the peoples? It's always a good reflection for all of us to look upon our actions and speech and see how we can increase our praises.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Joy of Learning

Lately, Camden has been what I'd call a giant sponge of learning. Not only is he learning 2 languages at once, he's also learning sign language. What truly has amazed me the past 2 weeks, is that he's communicating in and understanding all three! Every day he's saying new words (trying to at least. Agua is water in Portuguese, and what Camden says is "Ga-gwa". So pretty close!) And he's learning to sign new words every day too. Teaching him 3 languages at once is really helping me learn Portuguese too. Every time I say a word to name something in English, I repeat it in Portuguese (if I know it), and then sign it as well (if I know it). I don't feel like such an idiot practicing my Portuguese on him either.

He is just such a blessing to us. Every day we laugh with him at the funny things he does, and are amazed at how smart he is (of course we think he's absolutely brilliant!) :)