Category Archives: Paraguay Stuff

On loss and grace

Last Sunday I had my first miscarriage.

Miscarriage is one of those things that so many women have gone through, and every woman hopes she doesn’t have to go through it. Prior to this I have had three healthy, full term babies. I assumed I would never have a miscarriage, until I got pregnant with my fourth. And somehow, after the first two weeks, I just knew that this baby would not be here on Earth with us. My symptoms left suddenly, and I just knew. I was at peace with this and felt God’s grace washing all over me. On week nine, which is when Baby is supposed to be as big as grape, I had the miscarriage. It was hard, and sad, and yet…I’m amazed at how many blessings God gave me through the experience.

I saw my church family gather round and show me love and care through emails, text messages, phone calls, and many prayers.
I received emails, Facebook messages and comments from people all around the world. Kindness abounded from everyone.
I met a wonderful Christian gynecologist who took the time to hear me, respected my decisions, and then gave me wallpaper for my bathroom. Random, I know, but I walked into her office, told her much I loved her wallpaper and then she gave me some extra rolls of it she had in her cabinet. This almost made me cry. Here I am going through a miscarriage and receiving a pretty gift from a total stranger, a gift that I had secretly been hoping for and knew we could not afford anytime soon…God is kind and loving to me, even in the little things, like wallpaper for my bathroom.
All the food I had stocked my freezer with, the food I had made and frozen and planning to use for after the birth of the baby, came in handy for those days while I recovered.
I’m thankful I didn’t miscarry two weeks ago while Brian was at camp. I’m thankful it didn’t happen while we were in Asuncion doing paperwork.
Thankful that, as Elena put it, “This baby gets to spend his or her WHOLE life with Jesus and will never sin like we do.”
Thankful, that when it happened, we did not get angry at God or question Him.
Thankful, that no D&C was needed.
Thankful, that I’m healthy and feeling well again.
God is good and sovereign! What a truth to hold on to.

What we’re up to: Told in Pictures

A whole lot of cute
A whole lot of busy
A little bit of baking
A lot of holidays

Some visiting

A little bit of decorating (and of course, admiring!)

A lot of playing with toys and animals

a whole lot of summer!

Just a quick note…for now.

Yes, we are alive and kicking! It’s been months since I posted here due to Facebook invading my life, that’s where most of my pictures and updates are. I remembered that there are a few people who don’t use Facebook but do like to read my blog and see the zaney antics of my girls via this blog (I’m talking to you Nana Cantrell!)
Here’s the run down:
Lexi, 22 months old. Her latest adventures include knocking down the Christmas tree, using my makeup brush to clean the toilet bowl, ripping her diaper off and streaking through the house with an amazing amount of toddler-ish energy. She is busy.
Abigail is busy with her usual stuff, saying the funniest things, wearing the coolest clothes, still sucking her thumb to fall asleep, and filling all of her coloring books with her beautiful coloring talent.
Elena is, as usual, practicing her Future Mommy skills. She likes to boss, help and clean. Her favorite word to write is GOD and she can’t wait to start school again. She also tries to sneak and turn the Air Conditioner on whenever we’re not looking.
That’s all for now, and I’ll try to update more but I’ll need to find an extra 30 minutes to plop into our days in order to do so. Anyone have extra minutes laying around they can gift me for Christmas?
I didn’t think so.

Graduating in Brazil

I was homeschooled from pre-school till 12th grade. One of the few, though the number is growing in the USA, that never attended a traditional school. I’m always asked if I felt that I missed out. No pep rallies? No friends? No graduation? My answer? Nope. Some homeschoolers miss those things but I never felt that I needed them. If you know my family then you know why. We are good at entertaining ourselves.
My grandfather is the pastor of a church in Florida full of lovely, kind people who decided to throw me a surprise graduation upon my completion of High School. I was 16 years old and got to experience wearing the silk robe, walking down the aisle to Pomp and Circumstance, and eating lots of cake afterwards. I was the only graduate and it was still fun.
Last weekend we were able to attend the graduation of a dear friend. It was his college graduation in Brazil.
It started at 7:30 PM and we did not get home that night till 1:00 AM.
Thankfully I had a long nap and a sip or two of Brian’s cappuccino before the ceremony.
I have to tell you, if you think American graduations are fun , you’ve never been to a graduation in Brazil!
There was music! I can not verify this but I do believe the theme song to Star Wars was one of the melodies chosen for the walk down the aisle. Awesome.
There were balloons! Bull horns! Vuvuzelas.
It was all very fun and cool.
The graduates were color coded…as in Medicine graduates wore yellow sashes, International Relations wore red, Computer Engineers wore blue, etc.
The graduates were very proud and joyful. None of them appeared to take for granted their hard work and accomplishment.
All this to say, I never really felt that I “missed out” in not graduating from College, or being in a large graduating class in high school, until…
I went to this Brazilian graduation.
Now I wish I could graduate…Brazilian style. 🙂
And as for our friend, who graduated top of his class, we’re so very happy for you! And thanks for letting us share with you that night.

His grand entrance:

He and his wife: Happy, happy, happy!

Messy girls!

Things I love about this picture.
1. Crocs. My girls each own two pairs of shoes. Flip flops and crocs. That’s it. There’s not a lot of dressing up around here and I feel that we’re still sorting and cleaning lots of shoes as it is.
2. Lexi is covered in water. She’s a big girl and wanted to drink out of a regular cup, which resulted in being soaked.
3. Scabby knees, bruised legs, and dirt smears. Playing outside is so good for them!
4. Color. I love all the colors they are wearing.
Two more weeks till we move into our house!! I feel like I’ve been waiting for this move for two years (oh wait…I have been!) I wonder what I will do with my life once it’s done? 🙂


Sometimes during church its just me and Lexi in the nursery, so we take pictures of ourselves.

And we eat cookies. Lots of cookies.

Sweet girl, sweet dress, sweet friend.

A friend of mine once brought her darling little girl to church in a sweet little dress. Her little girl is always dressed impeccably and this certain dress had a real vintage feel to it. I oohed and ahhed over it, and told her how cute the dress and her daughter were. Fast forward a few months and my friend gives the dress to Miss Lexi Joy.
Pictures were in order! Lexi Joy will not pose for pictures unless bribed with cookies.
Cookie in hand (and headband removed!) my Dad held her back so that I could get in position. Lexi moves fast!
Here she comes strolling down our fashion runway, also known as my Dad’s garage, wearing the sweet vintage-y dress.
Oh Lexi! Pictures of your are a lot of work (and a lot of cookies!) but so worth it! My sweet little girl in her sweet little dress!
Obrigada amiga por el lindo vestido! 🙂

Just counting some of my blessings!

Fresh papaya from our yard

Coffee every morning on the front porch
Friends who love my babies
Resurrection Sunday eggs – He has made all things new!

Where I live…


New languages are all around us in this city, from Chinese to Portuguese, to Spanish to English, to Arabic…it’s a long list. I only wish I could learn them all in this lifetime.
I find myself understanding Portuguese a bit better but I wish I had more time to dedicate to studying it.
Perhaps the next best thing is to make sure my daughters (who have minds like sponges) will learn it. Once they are fluent I will appoint them as my translators.
In this picture, after church service a few weeks ago, Abbie is teaching her beloved Tia Bi the English word for common objects and Tia Bi in turn gives her the Portuguese word.
(Yes, Abbie wore her pink polka dotted rain boots to church. She wears them everywhere. )