Dentists and Pretzels

Today was Dental Appointment Day.

A day that I have been putting off for about 4.5 years.

It was time.

Thankfully, these girls passed with flying colors. Only two small cavities, on baby teeth, so basically, who cares?  Leave them be, the dentist said. This too shall pass.


Since the dental office is so close to our favorite German grocery store we thought we would reward ourselves with by spending $2.00 on 6 freshly baked pretzels. That’s better than IKEA prices!


We are in the stage of life where going to the grocery store by ourselves is considered a date, and we often do jus that. So, I had the girls take a picture of us, for posterity. (Brian thought that was lame, but went along with it to humor me.)IMG_5684

(For all our Paraguayan readers: this is the new Casa Rica on Molas Lopez, not the one on España! It’s bigger, with better parking! Go check it out!)


Summer Shenanigans


I hope you didn’t think I had forgotten about the blog already…not at all! We have just been busy building yet another blog (and homeschooling, and cooking, and working, and living…) My girls and I started and you can follow them on Instagram @doable_dinner.  So far my evil plan is working…they see now why they must learn to type, and I get extra willing help in the kitchen. #winning

The two older girls help run the blog, the instagram account and with the cooking. Lexi and Kate are taste-testers (and they excel at it!)

Happy eating.

P.S. I joined a gym! More on that tomorrow.

(Pray for my sore muscles.)


Week Recap


Hemming a pile of jeans while maintaining the original hem

Teaching Abbie how to sew her own black (yes, black) Star Wars curtains

Eating ice cream

Fun fact- two blocks from our house is an ice cream factory where you can get two scoops on a cone for fifty cents. So…out of curiosity, do you think getting an ice cream cone every week is over doing it? (I’m asking for a friend, of course).

Not a highlight was when Kate cried for about 20 minutes because she didn’t finish her lunch in time to get an ice cream.

How was your week? Did it involve ice cream at all, or is it just too cold where you are for that sort of thing?


Drawing cartoon faces, and coloring while listening to Wizard of Oz on audible.

(One little person may have been fresh out of the swimming pool, therefore, in her birthday suit. Our apologies.)

Dinner, thanks to Nana!

Paraguay is home to some pretty tasty food, and one of our favorites is a steak and chicken sandwich wrapped in pita bread. Called a “lomito arabe” it is one of the foods our visitors remember most fondly.

Last night, thanks to Nana Cantrell’s Christmas gift, we went out to eat with my sister, brother-in-law and niece.

Samantha just slept.

The rest of us inhaled the amazing steak bombs slathered in a creamy garlic sauce while gently nudging away the stray kitten under our chairs. (Sad.)

Thank you, Nana, for the yummy meal and good time. Christmas continues for us here in Paraguay!

Goals, dreams, wishes

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We spent New Years Eve with dear friends who have been with us through thick and thin.  We said we would only be there till 10:00, no way would Kate make it till midnight. No way, jose. Not possible.

She made it. By 10:00 there were already fireworks going off and Kate’s eyes were lighting up and her dimple was popping. No way could we leave. So we Just Danced, we Farkled, we laughed, we ate, and we oohed and ahhed at the sparkly show in the sky.

We went home,  and tucked everyone into bed but my head kept spinning with all the goals I had been pondering since August.  I looove setting goals, knowing full well there are some I won’t keep, let’s be real. But, I need to have a plan to change. I have to start somewhere.

(One goal that I have already decided to fail: Do not buy books until you have read the ones you already own.)

I’m baaack.

A few months ago we were sitting around a friend’s table for dinner and he told he had recently gotten in touch with a friend from his years in high school. This friend of his had left Paraguay and moved to the United States, but had returned for a quick visit. During their time together he mentioned us vaguely, an American family (I’m not sure how the topic even came up) and she said…”Wait…the blogger??? With the little girls? I used to read her blog everyday!”  We laughed a lot at that. Me? A “famous” blogger! But it reminded me of dusty little neglected blog and I remembered how much I used to love it. So, let’s try this yet again, shall we?

The “blogger” is back.

I am not sure how to segue this into a Christmas post, so let’s just jump in, okay?


Tia Jayde and Tio Hugo..the engaged couple to be wed in March!


“Soccer” tournament.


Tiny house, lots of people


The king of pie pastry.


Baby Sam and her Mommy


Abbie and my Mommy


The half-way done Christmas tree


Thank God for an engineer uncle to help Abbie with her solar powered rover!


Kate’s Christmas was Barbie themed.


New dog, lots of cuddles


My Dad and I lived in the kitchen. All others must stay out of our pie-making way.


We had a lovely Christmas where I received mostly Pioneer Woman kitchen items (LOVE.HER.) and we lounged around watching Elf (one of the most quotable movies ever) and not much else.

How was your Christmas?

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!



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


Privacy? What’s that?


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!


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!