Friday, August 29, 2008

Surprise Pick for McCain

I usually stay away from politics and hardly ever get excited about anything that has to do with politics, but I must say, since I found out McCain's VP pick this morning I've been a bit excited.

It was definitely a surprise for everyone. We only get coverage over the internet and see snipets of interviews, and read articles, but it was funny to see the speculation around who McCain would pick. I must also admit that I was quite nervous about who he would pick. Usually the VP selected makes me nervous, or it makes me feel better about a candidate. Palin as McCain's VP makes me take a sigh of relief. I don't know much about her and will be doing a lot of investigating the next few weeks/months, I'm sure, but she seems to really bring balance to the McCain ticket, which was much needed. I'll definitely be giving my friend Sarah a call (she's from Alaska and her family still lives there), and I'll be asking her many questions about what she knows about Palin, and more importantly what her family thinks about her as Governor.

I just have a feeling that the Obama team is scrambling around like little confused rats, trying to figure it all out, and that kinda makes me giggle. (not that I think Obama or anyone on his team are rats, it was just a good "mind-movie") I also really respect McCain for the upcoming ad he's going to run tonight. I saw a preview of it on the internet congratulating Obama for his historic acceptance of the Dem. nomination. I thought it was nice to see him "taking the high road" and seeing the historic value of what is happening in the country. Very nicely done.

Again, my feelings could change over the next few months, but right now I feel McCain made a VERY smart move, and one that nobody seen coming. That's the best part of it all! So we'll see how it all turns out come November.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Camden is Growing Up!

Camden is already learning important things from Daddy......Like how to take care of personal hygiene. :)

AND he's mommy's helper in the kitchen. He does a great job of keeping the spoons and mixer's clean! :)


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tension in the House

***UPDATE: Team USA WON the GOLD in Women's Soccer!!!

Yes, there is currently tension in our house.....all because of the Olympics. :) Right now we're watching Brazil vs. USA for gold in women's soccer. Tomorrow it'll be Brazil vs. USA in women's volleyball. Since the Olympics have been on, it seems a little as if time is standing still. In the mornings we have a hard time pulling ourselves away from the TV. (Mornings are live for us here in Brazil.) And then again late at night is also live for us, so we've stayed up way too late a couple nights watching random competitions.

This morning we've been laughing about "tension" in our house. I think Renato feels a little more strongly about it then I do. I'd actually be happy for Brazil if they won, but of course I'm an American through and through and am cheering for the good ol' U S of A. (Although currently in the soccer game it seems as if Brazil is "outplaying" the US.) So GO USA! We'll see which great country brings home the gold. (And yes, both Brazil and the US are great countries!)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ignore the Baby on the Right.....

OK, so I don't know what happened, but my cool little baby counter on the right of the screen has somehow gotten messed up. I tried to fix it the other day, but everytime I check in it's a different week. So, I'll probably end up deleting it and trying again, because it is kinda cool.

This weekend I'll be 12 weeks pregnant. The first trimester will be officially over. I'm hoping that the 2nd trimester will bring new energy so that I won't be so tired anymore. But, the 1st 12 weeks has gone great. (even with a few days of nausea) I'm so looking forward to feeling the baby move! I can't wait! Also, this Tuesday is our first ultrasound, so I'm sure I'll be filling you in with an update soon after. So, right now, just ignore that I'm 19 weeks pregnant and go about your merry way. :) Have a blessed day!

Monday, August 11, 2008

"I am Free"

We've found a church to attend here in Americana, or should I say, the church found us. :) The pastor actually showed up on our doorstep asking about English classes. After our first meeting and talking about English and ministry, we knew that it was just more then a chance meeting. God has something planned. Isn't God funny, how He brings people into our lives? I love that the pastor just showed up at our house!

Anyway, Renato and I are excited to see what God has planned for us with this church. The pastor has asked us to help organize the church and has asked Renato to help pastor the church. So we'll see what happens!

The worship is very upbeat, with lights, fog, and even dancers, which is great. (Camden LOVES the worship! He stands in the front of the aisle and claps and dances, it's so adorable!) I've enjoyed the worship, but it's hard for me to understand the words of the songs and they haven't been familiar to me at all.

Well, last night was such a blessing to me! (The main church services in Brazil are on Sunday nights...I think it may be that Brazilians like to stay up too late on Saturday nights to get up for church in the mornings, but that's just my opinion.) :) ANYWHOO, like I was saying, the worship was great last night! First they started out with a Matt Redman song, so it was so great to know the tune, and know what the translation of the words were.

THEN, I was completely blown away. The next song was "I am Free", by Jon Egan, or to those of you not from New Life Church, it was recorded by the Newsboys. (the words: I am free to run, I am free to dance, I am free to live for you, I am free!) So it was a song from MY church. I was so excited and felt so blessed by God to be able to sing that song, that was so familiar to me, even though I was in another country. It really felt like home. I even got tears in my eyes while we were singing, just because it touched my heart. The past few weeks, I've been struggling with homesickness quite a bit. So hearing a song from home was such a sweet, sweet sound to my ears. (And healing balm to my heart!)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Recycled Tea

Tea is very expensive here in Brazil, and there aren't many flavors. Since I got pregnant I've been trying not to drink many caffinated that meant giving up my morning coffee. I thought about buying decaf, but a tiny little package is twice the price of a big package of regular. So, I moved on to tea....all to be disappointed with the selection and price.

But, I learned a great way to make my own tea from fruit. It's a good way to use every part of the fruit you're eating, instead of just throwing it away. I learned this from my mother-in-law who told me, "We don't waste anything". Which is so true.

It's really simple too! I made my first tea from pineapple. We bought a fresh pineapple to eat as a family. When I cut it up, I saved the hard peel. I washed the peels off, then put them in a pot. I added enough water to cover the peels by about an inch. Then I added a few cloves. I boiled it for about 20-25 minutes (which smelled sooo good). Then you just strain the liquid from the peels through a very fine strainer. And Presto! You've just made tea! How easy is that!

I'm so excited to try it with other fruits as well. I'm looking forward to trying apple, orange, and whatever else I can think of that might work. I also bought some cinnamon sticks to put in with my next batch of tea.

The pineapple tea turned out great! What a treat and a great way to use every part of the fruit you eat. Cheap and easy......what more could you ask for? Try it yourself and tell me what you think!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Hot Dog!!

Brazil has some interesting takes on pizza and hot dogs. For instance, you might find tuna, peas, corn, and other various toppings on pizza. I've gotten pretty used to this and I actually really like the tuna pizza. (It took me awhile though.)

Since we arrived in Brazil, Renato's been telling me about this little hot dog stand across the street from BIG (Brazil's take on Walmart). The only thing is, it's only open in the evenings, and we teach every weeknight, and weekends we just haven't gotten a chance to stop by. But, last night after church, we had some time to swing by and pick up a hot dog. (In portuguese, a hot dog is called cachorro quente.)

I knew that I wouldn't be getting an ordinary hot dog with mustard on it, although I was hoping for sourkraut. Nope! Not even close! If you got "everything" on it, this is what you would get.....mashed potatoes, cheese, a cream sauce, shredded chicken, peas, corn, and little slivers of potato chips. Yep, all that on a hot dog! I wasn't too sure about the mashed potatoes, but Renato said I need to try it with everything first before I can judge.

I'm glad I took his advice. It was actually really good. A whole meal in one hot dog! And the best thing about it was the price. One hot dog, totally loaded, was only R$4. (Brazilian money) Which in dollars is about $2.40. Not bad for a whole meal. :) I have a feeling we'll be heading back to that hot dog stand again, but it won't take us 6 months to get back there, like it did to get us there the 1st time.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Pregnancy in Brazil-Part 1

I've decided this will probably be an ongoing series of posts over the next 6 1/2 months. Since my last pregnancy and delivery was in the U.S., it's already been interesting here in Brazil to see the differences in health care and such. I'm sure I'll have plenty to write about as the pregnancy progresses.

One huge blessing is that my Dr. speaks English fairly well, which was a big relief. As soon as I walked in, she started speaking to me in English and that has put me a bit more at ease. Renato will still come with me to all my appointments, but I feel a lot better knowing she can understand me and I can understand her. Praise God!

Another huge blessing is that we have really good insurance. They even have their own hospital, and the whole delivery and hospital stay is covered 100%. Praise God!

One main difference I've noticed is that in the U.S., my Dr.'s office was a one-stop-shop for everything I needed when I was pregnant. I got all my tests done in the same building, my ultrasounds, everything, so it was very convenient. It's not like that at ALL here. I had to get blood work done and a urine test. I thought at least they'd do the urine test in the Dr.'s office, but no such luck. We had to go to a separate place to get all the tests, and man did they take a LOT of blood. I felt like I was giving blood! Then they tell you when the tests are done, because YOU have to pick up the results and then take them with you to your next appointment. This was all a bit odd for me, but it worked out ok.

At 12 weeks I have my first ultrasound, which is always very exciting. :) I knew this probably wouldn't be at the Dr.'s office, so I was expecting that. But I wasn't expecting to have to take the order form from the Dr. to the insurance office to get it ok'ed first, before we could get the ultrasound done. And I'm sure we'll have to pick up the results and deliver them again.

It's all a bit much for me, especially in the U.S. when everything is very convenient. Thank goodness we don't work daytime jobs. I have no idea how people who work full-time here do any of their appointments.

Next time I'll write a little about my Dr.'s visits and the differences there. Thank God the pregnancy is going well (even though this time around I've had a little nausea, yuck!), and as I said before, I'm sure as time goes by, I'll have even more brazilian pregnancy stories to tell you about. :)