"Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words." Saint Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Boy's Got Rhythm

Anderson, our youngest, LOVES to sing,dance and play musical instruments (both imaginary and real). For your viewing pleasure we've included three of his latest concert videos.

This is one taken while Anderson was enjoying the music after Carys's school Olympic Day. It doesn't matter if he's sitting or standing because he's still playing the guitar.

This is a video of Anderson singing one of his favorite songs. It's Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name." How does a 3 year old know the words to a song that's over 20 years old? That's the benefit of having an older brother who had to lip sync a song in his English class last year with his "band" and this was the song chosen. Enjoy the performance and please excuse the quick nose pick during the show.

In this last one he gives a special backyard performance as he shows his ability with our really expensive drum set - a cooler, an upside down trash can, a wooden chair and two wooden spoons.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Missionary Conference-The Lighter Side

On the last post we shared the teachers that came to Brasil to teach the classes at this year's missionary conference. We also wanted to share some of the fun times we had outside of the classroom as well.

This is Nelse. She worked for the hotel and she took care of the smaller children while the teenagers and adults had their classes. She was a blessing to those of us with smaller kids. She speaks Portugues and Spanish which was great because we had some kids whose parents are missionaries in Paraguay so she could easily flip between the two.
Some of Nelse's fun time artwork.
We had time during the week to check out the hotel grounds. These are some logs that they've stacked up and painted with Santa's face.

There is a pond on the hotel grounds and Anderson went one day with his grandad to feed the ducks.

We had time for basketball...........

and of course soccer/futebol.

On our last night together we had a "Mystery Dinner." During our meal we were entertained with a murder mystery. We were all asked to turn our name tags into names that ended with 'Sugarbaker' as we were invited to a dinner hosted by "Big Daddy" Sugarbaker. My wife is a bit of a ham and so when asked to play a part in the play she naturally accepted. She was Bobby Joe Baker. She was Big Daddy's private nurse and let's just say she was deeply involved in gross misconduct during the play. We had a great time and the 10 or so missionaries involved in the play did a great job. It was funny stuff. I may have to post a short video of my nurse/wife's acting in the mystery dinner in the future.

Nurse Benay helping "Big Daddy" after he fell out dead...........or did he really die?
During the meal the play never really stopped as the actors moved around from table to table to drop more clues about who might have killed Big Daddy.
This is an "interpretive dance" done during the play. I love this picture because you can see the Brasilian waiters in the background not really knowing what reaction they should have to what they are seeing.
The best thing about the week was making new friends and, once again, being reminded of how diverse God's family is. We were blessed to be reminded that God's kingdom is moving forward and God has blessed us with so many encouraging brothers and sisters.

It was a good week.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Missionary Conference

A couple of weeks ago our family went to a missionary conference. This is a conference that is held every January in different places. It is designed for missionaries around South America to come and be fed spiritually instead of always feeding and to recharge our batteries to continue to be strong in what we are doing. I had never been to one before and, to be honest, I only went this year because our team was hosting it. It's much too expensive for a family of our size to travel to another part of Brasil to attend one of these. But, this year the conference was only 2 hours away from our city and so it made it easier than ever for us to attend and, like I said, our team hosted it so it would be weird if our family didn't go. We wanted to share this time about the speakers who gave of their time and left their lives in the states for a week, or more, to come and do this. On our next blog we will share some of the goofiness that went on during the week but for now we wanted to share the people who blessed us so much that week.

We had a main speaker who spoke two times a day to the entire group.
His name is John Willis and he has been a Bible professor at different Christian universities for over 50 years. My parents went to the conference as well and one day, during lunch, my dad and Dr. Willis discovered that Dr. Willis taught at the same college my dad attended a few years (cough, cough) back. My dad, however, never had Dr. Willis as a professor. I think that was for the best for both of them. Here is a picture of Dr. Willis, his wife Evelyn and my parents.

The ladies had a special speaker who taught a morning class. Her name is Dottie Schulz. She was a missionary to Amsterdam for many years. She now works at Missions Resource Network (http://www.mrnet.org/). She really blessed not just the women, but all the missionaries that were there. Her mission field is missionary care and she has a real passion for it. We were blessed to have her stay in our home for a couple of days after the conference and she was a real trooper as she had to spend one night on our sofa because of the amount of people we had in our home that night and the different sleeping arrangements that had to take place.
The men had a special speaker who also taught each morning. His name is Murray Wilton. He was born and raised in South Africa and for the last 20 years has lived in the United States. He has a teaching ministry to the business community in Huntsville, Alabama. The Spirit was strongly at work in bringing him to the conference and he was a blessing to those that were there. There is a brother in Christ named Larry Bennett who felt led to come to Brasil with Murray for the conference just to be available to pray and listen and help any missionary who might need it. I know that Murray and Larry blessed my family greatly by being here. God used them in mighty ways here in South America. We were also blessed to have them stay in our home both before and after the conference. Here is a picture of Murray sharing with the men (he's the one in the blue shirt, with arms raised, in front of the white board).
The teenagers also had teachers come from the states as well. For those of you who don't know, the term 'missionary kid' is kind of like a curse word in our house. We know and have seen how our kids are missionaries. They aren't just here because they had to be here. We know that God called them here for His purpose and they are living out His will here in Brasil. So, we were very happy to have some people come from the states and feed them as well. Cory and Christina Jones are youth ministers from Houston, Texas and they came to teach the teenage class. Our kids just loved them as they made the Bible interesting and they had fun with our kids. This is the only picture I have of them. Cory and Christina are on the left side of the photo. The Blume kids made up 60% of the class. We kind of do that sometimes. Our kids were blessed by Cory and Christina.
When the conference was over we had the chance to spend one night with Dottie, Murray and Larry together. My parents graciously offered to keep the kids and we took the 3 out to eat at a Brasilian steakhouse.
It was really good. As I mentioned before, Murray is from South Africa and lamb is a specialty there. He was very happy to find good lamb at the steakhouse we took him to.
We had a great week together and were reminded that God's family is big, and fun and made up of so many different spiritually gifted people who love the Lord and really burn to share the Good News.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Backyard Fun

We had a night out camping in our backyard last night. My parents gave us a tent when we were in the United States last year which we promptly left in the United States. We bought another one in the states but it fits the whole family. It's much too big to fit in our backyard. We don't know anyone in Brasil who has a big yard or, in most cases, a yard at all. Our back yard can be cut in about 3 minutes. So we needed to buy another smaller tent one for the times when the kids wanted to "camp out" at home. We found one at a grocery store here in Porto Alegre and bought it just for times like last night. The tent turned out pretty good except for the fact that it had no instructions, but we figured it out. Here's how it went last yesterday:

I had some really good help getting the tent set up.

Within 30 seconds of the tent going up I already had someone checking the place out to see if it was worthy of a camp out.

Within 5 minutes of the tent being set up we already had people staking their claims with sleeping bags and pillows.

At about 7:00 this little girl had her sleeping clothes on. You need to realize that this is someone who is NEVER ready to go to bed. Let's say she was a little excited about sleeping outside.

Before we were ready to invade the tent we had to have a cook out right? This was our fire starter (he's a bit of a pyro) and hot dog cooking helper.

We all enjoyed a good meal before we went outside. I should never of had that 2nd hot dog.

We took our laptop and a DVD out to the tent to watch a movie before we (Anderson, Garrett Carys and myself........for some reason Benay didn't want to sleep with us on the ground) turned in for the night. The DVD didn't work on the laptop so we weren't able to see a movie. I don't think the kids minded so much because within 2 minutes of lying down it looked like this:
After sleeping 4 in a 3 person tent for 4 hours (I had to take Anderson into the house at 1:00 because of constant squirming and grumpiness) I was able to lay down in a completely vertical position for the rest of the night. Suprisingly (for me at least) we woke up feeling really good after "roughing it" in the outdoors. Carys has already asked if we could do it again. TONIGHT!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Grandparents Heading Home

We just put our parents on a plane and they are headed home to Memphis, Tennessee.

It seems like yesterday that we surprised the kids with their visit.

How can 5 weeks go by so quickly?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Selling Homes on Two Continents

My dad has been a real estate agent for over 30 years. My sister has been a real estate agent for about 20. They both started off in different careers but ended up selling real estate. I even sold real estate for a couple of years........let's just say that great experiment went the way of MC Hammer. It was around for a short period of time, wasn't very pretty to look at and then went away quickly.

Anyway, my dad has been the owner and co-owner of different real estate agencies. For a while he was owner of Blume Realty. For a couple years during junior high I wore a windbreaker with "Blume Realty" on the back. Okay I confess I had a little, "my dad owns his own company what does your dad do?" pride coming out when I wore that jacket.

A couple of weeks ago we took my parents to a little place about an hour outside of Porto Alegre. It's the kind of town where you have to know someone or have a specific place you are wanting to go to in that town in order to visit it. It's very small. On our way out of town we came across this sign in front of some land for sale:

That's right. It says "For Sale.......Blume Realty."

Many parts of our state (Rio Grande do Sul) here in Brasil were settled by German immigrants and we've seen lots of Blumen something names here. Blumenau, etc. But we've never seen just the name Blume before we saw this sign. We thought it was pretty cool to find this sign when my parents were here.

So, anyone need some land in southern Brasil?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Internacional-Champions of the Dubai Cup

Those of you who know us well know that our family has a passion for our soccer team. Internacional is the name of our favorite soccer team. They are based here in Porto Alegre and we go, as often as possible, to see them play. In 2006 we won the World Championship. Which basically means that all the teams of the world played an elimination tournament on all of the continents. Bronwyn and I were blessed (through a gracious gift from her grandfather) to witness, in person, the finals of the South American championship. It was, without a doubt, the best, most incredible sporting event I've ever been to. It is a memory that Brownyn and I will never forget. The winners of all the continental championships are then invited to play in a tournament in Japan each December. In 2006 we won the championship against Barcelona who was/is one of the strongest teams in the world.

Anyway, a rich sheik in Dubai puts together a tournament in January and he invites different champions from around the world. It's called the Dubai Cup. This year he invited us (because of our world championship) and he also invited last year's Italian champion (Inter de Milan), German champion (Stuttgart) and the Dutch champions (Ajax). We beat Stuttgart first and then this past Monday we played Inter de Milan in the final. They are one of the stronger teams in the world and so it was really nice to get the chance to play them. Then to beat another European power, like Barcelona, was icing on the cake. Here is a picture of the sheik with our team captain.

Since we've arrived in Brasil I've found out what the world already knows.....that soccer really is the "beautiful sport." I never watched or paid much attention to soccer before we moved here but now I/we really love it. Here is a video of one of our favorite players, Nilmar (and Ansley is hopeful that he might be her future boyfriend), making the goal that won the championship for us by way of a bicycle kick. It is a thing of beauty.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Grandparents are here and of course we make them blog too!

Hello Everyone,

Gary and I arrived on December 17th and have not slowed down since arriving. Kevin and Benay did not let the children know we were coming and it was wonderful seeing them so surprised and happy to see us (see December 25th blog). I wonder why it is so easy for our grandchildren’s happy smile to bring tears. Gary did the devotional one week during house church, with Ansley being the translator.Last week Bronwyn interpreted for a gentleman that was here from Huntsville that is originally from South Africa. It is wonderful seeing our grandchildren and the way they are also missionaries. We spent this week with everyone, all of their team and a lot of missionaries from South America, for a retreat. This was a blessing for us and fun to meet everyone. We will be leaving for home next week but I am trying not to think about it, at least for a few more days. I wish everyone who has a part of this work could come and see how God is blessing this work with the help of your prayers and support.


We originally planned to stay the extended period of time so we could look after the children while Kevin and Benay attended the missionary conference. We were blessed that it turned out the children went and so we went as well. Seeing all the families dedicated to serving the people of South America with the gospel was, for us, a great experience. We also had an opportunity to listen to men and women well schooled in the scriptures, sharing their knowledge of the Lord’s word with all of us.
Our visits remind us to be appreciative for all of you who make it possible for our children and grandchildren to be involved in this work with your money, prayers and words of encouragement. It is very inspiring to see the faces of the Brazilians we have heard about and read about who have also committed their lives to serving our Savior. Please pray for Kevin, Benay, Bronwyn, Ansley, Garrett, Carys, and Anderson that they will be kept safe, healthy and empowered to serve the people of Porto Alegre in His name.
And pray that their grandmother will be able to make it to the airport on the 20th without crying too much.


Friday, January 04, 2008

Carys' Nature Week

This is Carys and this is my blog day. These are some pictures that I (and my dad) took this week at a waterfall place we went to and in our backyard. I'll tell you about each picture.

This one is some butterflies flying above the water.
This is me holding a tadpole.
This is the tadpole that I was holding in my hand..........just joking. Actually this is a frog that we found at the waterfall place.
Did you know we had alligators in Brasil? And the weirdest alligator is on the top.
This is a picture that I took at the waterfall place and it is two dragonflies stuck together.
This is the bug who went onto my mom's shoe and when I saw her, she was shaking like she was doing the cha-cha. We found this bug in our backyard.
This is the same bug.
This is a big moth that we found in our backyard.
And after we took him out of one building he flew into our house and into my mom's office. This is a picture of him on my mom's wall.
We got him out of mom's office and he flew into the rock room and hit the ceiling fan twice and fell to the floor and that is why my dad calls him "knucklehead." This is a picture of him on the ground.
And then he woke up and flew onto the tablecloth.
And then he flew outside and me and Garrett couldn't find him anymore.
This is a mommy dove and a baby dove that were in a tree in our backyard.
This is a picture of a butterfly and a pretty, pretty, pretty flower in the same tree in our backyard.
This a picture of a bee in a pretty flower in our backyard.
My dad is crazy so he just put a picture of a pretty flower.
This is a picture of some wasps making their home. They live in our sacada (balcony).
We have grapes and most of the year when they get greenish the bees come and eat them. And that is why me and Garrett pick them when they are green because you can't wait until they are purple because the bees will come and get them. This is a picture of a bee eating a grape.
This is a picture of my grandfather and he is the weirdest bug I know.