She is turning 6!

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Lexi girl is turning six today. We’ve been anxiously counting down the days, and yet still I managed to not buy a birthday present. Hopefully today we’ll find the time?? I am the WORST at birthday parties… we’ll see what we can come up with to make her day super special.

The pictures were taken  for a pretend wedding that was announced in a pretend newspaper. So hilarious!

Happy birthday, Lexi! You are amazing!

Evenings

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Kate loves playing with the little cars…finally, toys that she will actually use!

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Privacy? What’s that?

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My two blondies.

Last night, being a Wednesday, was youth Bible study night. I fed people, an extra teenager who had been hanging out doing homework as well, and then everyone headed out to the Bible study. Afterwards we gathered in the living room and read a loud from Winnie the Pooh while baby Kate played with her cars and Carlos was “facebook-ing” as they say. Then someone decided they wanted ice cream and OH NO, the ice cream store closes in thirty minutes, but the girls were able to beg Carlos to run out and buy some. He made it in the nick of time. Ice cream for a night time snack and then bed time for everyone.

I was in bed by 9:30 and asleep by 10:00. Eight of hours of rest never felt so good.

Today’s agenda includes an all day government meeting for Brian, while I will be homeschooling kiddos and trying to get the last minute touches on uniforms (socks. so many socks) for the kids of Hogar El Camino. Also, must make snack for Carlo’s study group this afternoon. Cinnamon Roll Pound Cake? Yes, I think so.

Please pray for two of our house dad’s. One recently had his mother under-go major surgery and the other recently lost a dear family member.

Overall, yesterday was really nice, especially when I received a piece of paper from a judge’s office which, had I received it last year, would have sent me over the edge with fear and anxiety. This time though, I was able to keep my wits about me and pray and watch God work the situation out. He is healing me and the wounds that an abundance of stress left. I am praising Him for that!

Have a nice Thursday, everyone. (My favorite day of the week.! Random, but true.)

 

The BSC!

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They are addicted.

Years ago, I started reading the Baby-Sitters Club books. Do you remember those? It took me years to collect 90+ books in that series, which were then passed on to my younger sister, Jayde. Thankfully, my mother in her infinite wisdom, kept all the books and gave them back to me.

They have been sitting in an Action Packer for years. The collection has been in the deepest part of the Amazon jungle, the bustling cities of Venezuela, and all over Paraguay. About six weeks ago, during the first week of our blazing hot, hazy summer, Elena cracked one open and we’ve barely seen her since. The collection that took me years of birthdays to gather, has been devoured in six weeks. For all the family members reading this, now you know what to get her for birthdays. Only numbers 100 and up please! I assure you, numbers 1-99 have been read and some more than once.

Abbie is flying through them as well, and talking to them about the different characters in the books makes me feel like I’m chatting with old friends. Yes, Claudia does dress cool. How bizarre that Dawn doesn’t eat meat? And of course, which girl do you think you are most like? (My answer: Mary Anne.)

Happy Reading!

Our Monday

These pictures have nothing to do with the post.

Yesterday was a decent Monday (it is possible). We finished homeschool in record time, with good attitudes! Three cheers for the McCobb girls! Kate did not break anything valuable! The washing machine did not overflow into the kitchen! There were ants ALL OVER the just-been-cleaned-spotless kitchen counters, but hey, that’s summer for you, nothing you can do about the ants.

There was an unplanned visit from a public defender regarding the case of one of the girls here at Hogar El Camino, a prayer meeting with the female staff of the home, emails finally answered, free days for house parents scheduled (a good friend told me she would now be able to help more with child-care, and that was a huge relief!).

There were visits from kids. One with a tummy ache, one one needing some new reading material, and just to show you where my brain is at: when he asked for a book, I said, “yes, of course” and then handed him the keys to my car! He is thirteen and would have no doubt gladly hopped in the car for a spin. Haha.

A few came to visit their older brother and drank many cups of coffee accompanied by chocolate chip cookies. The cookies were made for a study group that Carlos was going to have but it was canceled. Oh well, more cookies for us! He was not upset.­čÖé

Then, because Carlos said he wanted to learn how to cook, he lit the grill and made his first batch of hamburgers. They were delicious…and dinner was served at 8:30 PM… we eat dinner late around here.

Finally, kitchen was cleaned, children were in bed and Brian and I romantically synched our calendars for the upcoming weeks. True love!

How was your Monday?

 

Menu Monday

Last year was a beast, and we ate way too much processed food and spent way too many hours staring blankly into the fridge wondering what to feed the four small girls and one tall teenage boy.

This year, I’m trying to get back on track in the kitchen. One, because dinner rolls around every. single. day. I may as well be ready for it. Two, I miss cooking. I miss making great food with side-dishes and serving it with love to the people around my table. It’s healthy for all of us physically and for me, emotionally as well.

So here is to 2016! May the meals in it be way better than all the frozen chicken nuggets that were consumed in 2015! (In interest of full disclosure, they are still eaten, but only once a week on our craziest day.)

On the menu this week:

Monday: Hamburgers and french fries (Served those up to Teen Boy two weeks ago and they were a hit. Easy peasy and filling. #winning)

Tuesday: Lemon Chicken Potato Casserole

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Chicken Tiki Masala┬á(this is youth group night, henceforth, I dub Wednesday “Slow Cooker Night.”)

Thursday: Beef Burritos (from the freezer) and a Tomato and Onion salad to go on the side.

Friday: Pizza Night

Saturday: Lunch with friends and leftovers for dinner

Sunday: Eat out for lunch

What are you eating this week?

 

Weddings and such

We had a wedding here last night and I was the photographer. Our surroundings are very beautiful out here in the country so I was able to snap some pretty nice shots of the bride and bridal party, but as usual, my favorite shots were the candid ones. Those little moments of “just life” captured forever. The kinds of pictures that help me see how blessed I am that I get to do life with this amazing group of people.

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Lucas and Abbie…ready to walk down the aisle as ring bearer and flower girl.

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Teenagers…they can sometimes drive you crazy…but hey, we love ’em anyway!

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Maybe not the most flattering picture, but I do love laughing with this group of ladies. (Laughing at Brian and his awkward photographer pose)

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Friends with the husband-to-be at his legal wedding.

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Milciades, the groom, is our head of maintenance at Hogar El Camino. Among many other things, he keeps the buildings from falling down around us. Enjoy your honeymoon, Mil, and when you get back can you look at my toilet? It’s leaking again. Ha!

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Two siblings here at Hogar El Camino looking all spiffy for the wedding.

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Elena, enamored with the bride. What little girl isn’t?

Yeah, I’m kind of in love with my life right now. Happy occasions can do that to a person.

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ABBIE!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!

The Party Planning Committee

(Do you like The Office? It’s one of my favorites.)

Just call me Angela from Accounting. Because I am the chairman of the Party Planning Committee.

On April 2nd, my four little girls are the flower girls of my their aunt’s wedding. Their dresses are yellow, and they will look the Disney princes, Belle. This thrills them. Final fitting is in a few days, and then we’re off to buy shoes. Even Baby Kate is supposed to participate in the walking of the aisle, but I’m taking no responsibility over her actions, participation or lack thereof. Should be interesting.

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On April 12th one of our sweet young ladies here at Hogar El Camino will be turning 15. Fifteen is a big deal here in Paraguay, as it is in most of South American countries.  Her dress is blue, the theme is butterflies, and she chose finger foods instead of a full meal. The other day she and I went shopping for the fabric for her dress and I think it will lovely and colorful. Much like the girl wearing it.

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Things to do before the Big Days?

1. Final fittings for all five girls.

2. Hem 20 white tablecloths with a friend from Tennessee who is coming down on a missions trip.

3. Order food, make invitations, take portraits, edit portraits, make a playlist, buy party decorations, schedule decorator, pick up dress, order cake, buy shoes, buy jewelry…

I had better get off the internet.

it’s a toddler life for me

I had plans for what I would accomplish when I got back to Paraguay.  One was to have a weekly Bible study with the teen girls of the home.

That has since been combined with the Bible study Brian teaches for the boys. Topics have become more generalized and sometimes I don’t get to make a snack. The floor is a mess and sticky, and the dining room table is covered in crumbs. Those things were not in my plans.

But they are now.

Why?

The Boss says so, that’s why.

So, for weekly Bible study the Boss and I spend it in her room where she cries, falls over and knocks her head on things, and is generally LOUD and TODDLERISH.  We spend Bible study taking great pictures like these:

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Meet my Boss…who will soon grow up and be less bossy, but for now, we’re all adapting to meet her demands.­čÖé

A wedding, some school, and blue stripes.

Since we arrived back in Paraguay there has been a whirlwind of work and activities.

Exhibit A:  The house parents  decided to renew their wedding vows. Cute!

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Elena and her sweet friend, Ara, were the ring bearers.

Exhibit B: There is now an AWANAS program at school every Friday and these three chickadees think postponing homeschool on that day is A-OK.

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These three girlies follow me everywhere I go. My patient little helpers, and the fourth is usually being carried on my back.

Exhibit C: The baby turned one and got nothing. Not even a blurb on Facebook. (And the Mother-Of-The-Year Award slips by me again…darn!) She is busy practicing her walking skills, eating markers, perfecting the art of temper tantrum throwing, and waving goodbye.

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This baby turned one and learned how to walk! (old photo, from New Hampshire)

It’s a hotel life for me!

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I know, I know, I know! I’m feeding my kids junk food…in front of the tv….on the floor…of a hotel room. ┬áI know that you should never, ever let your baby crawl around on the hotel room floor because, hello, EBOLA and GERMS.

We were in the car for 9 hours today. In the past three weeks we have traveled 2600 miles. So, for Pete’s sake, let the baby crawl. I’ll bathe the baby in hand sanitizer later. Or essential┬áoils. Whatever makes you feel better.

That’s all for tonight, it’s time to shut off the lights. This hotel room came with a small bathroom which means Kate’s crib is in the same room with all of us tonight. So no lights, and SHHHH!

(Had I mentioned earlier that baby’s portable crib is usually in the hotel bathroom? No? Oh.)

Peace out!

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