Hello, Tennessee!

Hiyo Chattanooga! Our adventuring continues in the southern states as we move into Tennessee, visiting churches and friends. We stayed with our good friends Nathan and Marllorys Arce. We grew up together in Venezuela and the last time we saw each other was at my wedding. They were newlyweds and now…now there are 7 kids between us both. Yikes.

We took a day trip to the Tennessee Aquarium and then had lunch at a Mexican restaurant with the biggest burrito I’ve ever seen. (Sorry, no pictures. My bad.)

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Baby Kate is trying to catch a turtle.

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How cool was the Aquarium? It got ten thumbs up!

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Abbie – the penguin whisperer.

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TRAPPED.

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Uncle Nathan and baby Kate did some bonding by the fish tank.

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On Sunday we visited Eden Chapel and tell the kind people there about our life and ministry in Paraguay. We’ve been gifted clothes for the children at Hogar El Camino, goodies for our girls and just in time too, because tomorrow we head back to New Hampshire and the new entertainment for the girls on the long journey home is a great gift!

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Hello, Alabama!

It was the girls first visit to Alabama and I must say, the state left a good impression!

We had beautiful warm weather (80 degrees in October? Yes, please!) and plenty of fun activities to keep us busy!

We started off with Owl-o-ween, an event held at a local natural park where the girls decorated cookies, had their sweet faces painted, played games and saw screech owls.

The highlight of the day was when they got to tear apart owl pellets and pick out bird bones. (Actually, they didn’t like that part at all. Ew.)

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Elena decorates her “Owl-o-ween” cookie

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Abbie was determined to have her face painted, no matter how long the wait was.

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Worth every second of waiting!

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Miss Crafty McCrafterson.

Our favorite thing about Alabama was the southern hospitality. We visited the Church at Chelsea-Westover and were welcomed warmly and shown lots of love! Several people knew we were taking the girls Trunk or Treating (their first time!) and the people of that church rallied around us to get us ready.

Miss Amy loaned us costumes, Miss Rosemarie did their hair and makeup, Miss Susan loaned us blue eyeshadow (Cinderella without blue eyeshadow? Perish the thought!), Miss June fixed the moccassins of one Pocahontas, and Miss Deidra provided candy buckets and escorted us to the event. It takes a village, people!

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Before Miss Rosemarie got her hands on them…

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In the talented hands of Miss Rosemarie

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Meet my creepy friend…and see my awkward photobomb.

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Good thing Daddy didn’t see all the makeup. He would have flipped.

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Thank you, Miss Rosemarie! Cleopatra, Pocahontas, and Cinderella have never looked lovelier.

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The first haul of candy came from Mr. Ival!

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Yes, Alabama has been fun! We’re so thankful for the love we’ve been shown and we want to come back some day. Now, we’re on to Tennessee to see more friends and visit another new church. Let the adventuring continue!

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                                               We met Gru from Despicable Me!

What do our days look like?

What do we do when we’re in the USA? Our days do look very different from the happy chaos that is found in Hogar El Camino.

When we’re in our home base of Nashua, New Hampshire we’re doing homeschool, visiting with family nearby, and enjoying being able to “just go to church.”  I’ve been on church staff or leadership in some capacity since I was a teenager, and I while I wouldn’t change that for the world, it’s nice to take a break. I can go to church without wondering who set up the seats first! No scrambling to find nursery workers! I have no idea who put the Power Point together! I don’t know what the Sunday School lesson is! For now, it’s nice. (But that antsy “shouldn’t-I-be-in-charge-of-something?” feeling is always lurking)

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This was taken on the 4th of July in Paraguay…we left for the USA shortly after that!

The girls are adapting well, they’re homesick as all get out, but in good spirits and enjoying the fun times that we are having.

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Hide all the things! Baby is on the move!

One thing is for sure, they are getting spoiled (the good kind of spoiling) from all the love and attention they are getting from family and friends.

Currently, we are on our way to a meeting in Alabama, where a friend has already planned a weekend full of activities (movies! museums! parks! trunk or treating!) then on to Tennessee for another meeting where another friend asked for a long list of snacks and fun items to purchase.

We are feeling the love!

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“I’m proud to be a coal miner’s niece!”

Furlough fun!

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As one t-shirt put it, “Hahvahd! Making people smahtah!”

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Riding bumper boats. Elena thought she would die.

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That moment when all of Lexi’s dreams came true.

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Spending time in the sun, on the lake. (Still very pale.)

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Riding four wheelers. Brian thought he would die.

It’s been fun! A lot of fun! And it’s been restful and I feel refreshed and energized and excited about the future! But in the midst of all this fun, there are people I miss so much I can barely breathe.

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We’re ready to go home and get back to work!

Lexi Loo turns 4.

Four….? Did I just say that?

Lexi was the baby for the longest time, but she was happy to turn that role over to Kate.

Today we celebrate the life of one of the funniest, sweetest, happiest four year olds around. We often comment on how “Joy” was the perfect middle name for her. Not only is she full of joy, she has brought loads of joy  into our lives.

We love you, Lexi Joy. (P.S. you’re still my baby)

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The bits and pieces of a baby

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This fourth baby has slipped quite nicely into our family days, the adjustment period has been quite easy. The only main difference is that she and I stay home more. Newborn babies are homebodies, so that makes running errands a bit tricky, but now that someone likes her pacifier, it is slowly becoming easier.

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Yummy, yummy baby.

That’s all.

Peaceful Chaos

Ever since I was young, I’ve always wanted a house full of people. A place where people come in and out, open the fridge, curl up on the couch, peer over your shoulder, ask to borrow sugar…etc, etc, etc.

Here at Hogar El Camino, our home has taken on a new feeling. We like to call it “peaceful chaos.” It’s loud, it’s messy, it’s crazy, but it’s happy.

At any given moment of the day there will be teenagers, or small children, or even the neighbors dogs parading through the house. Maybe just visiting, maybe borrowing a cup of sugar (the kids, not the dogs), maybe needing help with homework, or maybe they just want to curl up on the couch and look at photo albums.

“Tia, can we listen to music?”

“Mommy, what’s for snack?”

“Tia, can I take the baby for a walk?”

“Wah, wah, wah” (That’s baby Kate…she’s hungry..again!)

Constant movement, but a whole lot of love.

Every now and again, I get that rushed, panic feeling…the dishes aren’t done, my kids aren’t wearing matching clothes, I’m late for a meeting, I haven’t spent one-on-one time with a  certain child in forever…and all women know what I am talking about.

In the wise words of Ann Voskamp, “So what if your life’s going to be messy? Perfect isn’t the goal. Purpose is.” 

Maybe instead of “peaceful chaos” I should dub our home “messy purpose.”  🙂ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Our Summer.

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Obviously the biggest happening in our summer was the birth of Katherine Hope, but you can call her Kate. She came fast, quick and easy! Water broke at 7:30 pm, and my first thought was to put on my tennis shoes and go for a walk. However, before I could get to my closet I was doubled over in pain. Nix the walk! I’m staying home. Three and a half hours later, she was in my arms. There was one hour of easy contractions, one hour of sending everyone out of the room and informing them to leave.me.alone! (Hello, Mr. Transition. How not nice to see you again!) Then another hour or so of panting through the urge to push and maybe thirty minutes of pushing. (Hello, Mr. Pushing Stage. How did you get here so quickly?) And wa-la! She was here!  

What do all the kids think of Miss Kate? 

Two thumbs up! 

 

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As for the rest of the summer, there were lots of parties. Lots of food. Lots of laughs. Lots of work.

All in all, a really great summer. One of the best we’ve ever had in our 7 years in Paraguay. 

So, while the heat index is at 108, we’re still enjoying ourselves. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Another girl!

As most of you know, we are expecting Daughter Number Four sometime in January.
Most people here ask how Brian feels about having another girl.
Let’s face it, when it comes to McCobb’s he is seriously outnumbered.
But don’t worry about him too much.
He also has plenty of boys. 🙂
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I had forgotten fast internet was possible.

Our internet situation has changed recently and I might (but don’t get your hopes up!) have more time to blog. A small post could have taken up to an hour to load before, now it can go up in five minutes?! Five minutes I can do!

So, my first little run-down on the McCobb happenings:

We have three puppies in the house and here is Abbie being smothered to death by them, and enjoying every second of it.

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These guys are keeping us hopping! School activities, birthdays, runs to the store for flip-flops, toothbrushes, paperwork, picking up donations. Their smiles make it all worth it. (And so does their occasional naughtiness. What can I say? I hear tales of their recess time scuffles and I can’t help but giggle. Kids will be kids.)ImageImage

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Soledad leaves us in December, she will be moving to Argentina with her sister, this is a good thing for her…but I will miss her so much that I don’t really want to talk about it. (Also, no more wearing black at night for me. Flash photography, black dress…WHITE face!)

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These three came over to goof around in some clothing donations that arrived the other day. Most of the sizes were too large for any of our kids here, but we plan on selling them and using the money for their school expenses. In the meantime, the outfits they put together are providing hours of entertainment. My storage room looks like a thrift store threw up in there, luckily I don’t see it when the door is closed. Hooray for easy clean-up!

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So, let’s re-cap….lots of work, lots of kids, lots of puppies.

Life is good.

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