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

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Smeller and the Bug Collector

Anderson is our smeller. He has an incredible nose. We can be out on the street and he can smell Brasilian bar-b-que before anyone else. Shortly after, the rest of us will catch up to the smell as well, and it will be bar-b-que.

His smelling doesn't stop at food. He has no problem catching a whiff of people and isn't shy about telling them what they smell like. Dangerous, I know.

Some examples:

"Grace you smell like ketchup."

"Dad, of all the kids in my class Lucas smells the best. He smells just like milk."

They aren't always good people smells however:

"Dad he smells like coco bricks." (Even after repeated questioning we still aren't sure exactly what coco bricks smell like but he's assured us it's not a good smell. Cocó is the brazilian word for poop.)

Yesterday, while walking to his school a man passed us and Anderson shot out (loudly), "Hey dad, that guy really smells bad!" So I said, "Shhhhh, let's don't say that." He replied, "Okay dad, but he REALLY smells bad." Here you can't just assume that people don't speak English, because a lot do, so this type of honesty is always fun.

Carys has always been our nature girl, bug collector, specimen provider. All you have to say is, "Carys, bug" and she's on it. She will grab just about anything and isn't afraid to let stuff crawl on her.
What happens when you put these two together?

Our kids go to three different schools. In the mornings I drop the three oldest off first, then Carys, and then Anderson. Anderson gets out of school first, so when I pick them up at lunch I do so in reverse order.

When we went to pick up Carys on Tuesday she handed Anderson a glass container. Anderson immediately said, "cool!"

What was it? A slug. She found it and kept it and shared it with Anderson. Anderson immediately wanted the lid off. So as we are driving to the older kids' school we take the lid off and Anderson is looking down into the container. He then says, "It smells like brown sugar." I assure him it doesn't and he keeps telling me it does. We go back and forth. He's begging me to smell and I really don't want to smell the container.

Finally I give in, and guess what it smells like? Brown sugar.

So I ask Carys if, by chance, she happened to get this container from our kitchen. She, completely innocently, responded "yes." I mean why would that be a problem, right?

I'm not sure the slug liked his new home though. You've heard of something scaring the poop out of somebody. With this guy it wasn't just a saying. We left him out during the night with lid off and he made a slimy break for it. Not to worry though. The night he escaped it rained, and then yesterday morning Carys found two worms to take up residence in the "brown sugar" bug container.
And they live happily next to the "killer tomato."
It's never boring in this house.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

8 Weeks

Hard to believe but he's 8 weeks old today.

One of the things he likes to do is sleep. He's doing lots of training.

But don't think he's lazy. He's also staying busy by learning how to sit up..........

........and, of course, walk.

He's also started smile training. He's getting pretty good at it.As a reward for all his hard training, we bought him a membership in "The Hair Club for Men." It's been an investment worth every penny.
We kind of like this little guy. We think we'll keep him.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why I Love Being a Mom of 6 (one reason anyway)

Yesterday, as I cleaned house holding my baby because he wouldn't stay in his bouncy seat, I decided to tackle the mess in my “office” - which in my imagination is a place where I work on Bible studies, pay bills, plan weekly menus, write letters and basically organize my life. In reality, it has been the “dumping ground” for things that either don’t have a place or we don’t feel like putting them in their place. So normally it looks more like this than an office. Anyway, in the pile of papers, fabric, paint, bills, recipes, toys, etc, I found this red box.

I remembered that a week or so ago, Carys told me that she had a new “club” at school. The club of the Tomates Assassinos – the Killer Tomatoes. One of her friends had a copy of this movie starring none other than George Clooney. The girls began passing the movie around and formed a club. This was their club box. “How cute” I thought as I opened the box to see what was inside. There was a club sign: A club manual containing the names of club members, a schedule of who would keep the box, a secret code and even coloring pages. Also in the box was a plastic bag. In the bag was something slimy. Upon further inspection I realized that Carys must have taken an apple to school for a snack and forgotten about it. After a few days, it had turned into a mushy mess. But no, it wasn’t an apple. It was an actual Killer Tomato. He was missing his right eye, but other than that, he was still intact although somewhat mushy. Complete with angry eyes and his gun – strapped to his tomato body with a strip of red contact paper. So there you have it. Today's reason for having 6 kids. They keep life fun.
PS. Don't let your kids watch the killer tomato movie, it has some unsuitable language. Fortunately the Brazilian kids don't get it, but ours might.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Two Kids, Three Hours and a Park

Garrett had his friends over last week for a birthday party. They wanted to, surprise, go to a park and play soccer. Carys and Anderson wanted to go as well. Garrett didn't really want to share his birthday time and bigger guy buddies with his little brother and sister so they got to be creative for the 3 hours we were at the park.

Here's how they passed the time together:

They climbed little trees:
Then they tackled bigger trees: They felt good about themselves after defeating the trees...................so they decided to move onto the playground equipment where they hung right side up....... ..........and upside down....................................and upside down.................................and.....well, upside down. They did some climbing................ ......................and a couple of different kinds of sliding.

They even got to play a little one on one soccer. Here you can enjoy Anderson faking Carys out with the ball, followed by Carys's steal and score which is followed by Anderson (the coach) giving it to me for paying more attention to filming than being the goalie. I love his simple question of......"Dad, why?"

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Then we ran into this guy:Let's just say he had some issues. He stayed in this position of "relief" for over a minute. The problem was he was shooting air. Nothing at all was coming out but he stayed like this two different times for about a minute each time. The kids thought it was hilarious. I think maybe he was, in some way, trying to impress his girlfriend.

Carys and Anderson were determined to not allow boredom to disrupt their three hours together. It was a fun afternoon.

Free Grace

Charles Spurgeon spoke these words to a crowd in London in the late 1800's:

"The most potent motive for holiness is free grace. We should be moved by gratitude to a height of dedication and purity of obedience that mere legalism can never know."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Internacional vs Boca Juniors

You might remember our recent blog about the lone fan at a soccer game we went to.

Wednesday night was much different. Our favorite soccer team played Boca Juniors from Argentina.

Boca is probably the most well known soccer team in South America. They've won lots of national and international championships. Just last year they were in the final of the world club championships. That's the same championship our team won in 2006.

Anyway, we are currently playing in an international championship and Wednesday we had to face Boca. We played them at home on Wednesday and in a couple of weeks we go to Argentina to play them in their home stadium. The best combined score after two games qualifies you for the next round.

Since we've lived here Boca has twice put our team out of this tournament. It was payback time.

The game started at 10:05. That's p.m. You need to understand that, at night in Brasil, everything revolves around soap operas. Games during the week, that are on television, don't start until 9:45 at the earliest because of the soap operas.

Bronwyn, Garrett and I went and we had a great time. They know they have a pretty cool mom who allows them to stay out past midnight on a school night for something as "important" as a soccer game.

Back to my first statement. Boca always has fans wherever they play. In our post about the lone fan you'll remember that the visiting fans have a section fenced in just for them.....to help prevent fights. Boca packed the visitors section completely full and jumped, sang, tomahawk chopped (no team significance) and danced during the whole game. They never stopped. It was actually fun to watch their energy. This is a quick, dark video but here is what they sounded like 30 minutes before the game:

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And here is our pregame response to Boca's loudness:

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The game was delayed for a couple of minutes because these sparklers from our fans.....
.....caused this:

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It's pretty normal during a big game.

It was a great, tight game until the second half when we made our first goal (you can catch a glimpse of Bronwyn and Garrett's head and arms at the beginning):

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We won the game 2-0. Our team has tons of talent but have had a pretty mediocre year. Beating this team helped with alot of the pain from our average season as well as the fact that our mortal enemy (gremio.......still can't bring myself to use a capital g)is currently in first place in the Brasilian championship.

If anyone, outside of my dad, cares, here are some of the best plays of the game.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

7 Weeks

Today Giovanni is 7 weeks old. I know, I know.......probably only the grandparents care about that.

Who needs a professional photographer when you have Benay, Ansley and Photoshop?

I'm not sure even a professional could do anything with this.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Garrett's Birthday

The tradition, for our family, on birthdays is to let the birthday boy or girl choose everything that is done on their special day.

As you know from the last post, this past Saturday was Garrett's birthday.

So, he chose mocha-banana-chocolate-chip muffins to start his day. Bronwyn was happy to get up a little early to take care of the breakfast.
We then goofed around the house for a little while.

Then it was lunch time and Garrett got to pick his favorite place to eat lunch. Garrett has now lived in Brasil longer than he lived in the United States. In many ways he is more Brasilian than American. We live in a great city for restaurants. We are the churrasco(Brasilian bar-b-que) capital of the world. We also have incredible pizza places.

So, what did Garrett, this churrasco loving, soccer playing, portuguese speaking boy choose for his birthday meal? Outback Steakhouse. That's right, Outback.

He's a sucker for good chicken tenders. Always has been. He also likes to watch soccer while we eat and Outback has 2-3 tv's just for sports.

We then went home for a little soccer with our brother and.....................
.............present time.

He got a new soccer ball, soccer cleats (called chuteiras), a soccer magazine and a cell phone.
God has blessed us with kids that care for each other and that are givers. They each (including Anderson) receive allowance for chores that they do around the house. When it's someone's birthday they are all good about using their own money to buy something for that family member.

Anderson gave Garrett a piece of chocolate called "batom" which means lipstick. It's literally a roll of chocolate that looks like lipstick.
Bronwyn and Ansley gave him the "We are Marshall" DVD.

The French have a deep (yet absolutely insane) love for Jerry Lewis. I don't get it. In the same way, the Brazilians love Mr. Bean. Our kids also think he is hilarious. So, Carys bought Garrett a Mr. Bean movie.
Garrett had asked that his cake be "Mammy's chocolate cake." Mammy is my grandmother. She is 92 and is a great cook. Her chocolate cake has become a staple for birthdays in our house. It's Garrett's favorite cake.
We didn't have any candles so we had to put a used Tweety Bird candle on the top.

Garrett wasn't thrilled and tried, but failed, to take it off the cake.

Before we could eat though we had a prayer for the birthday boy. Garrett asked Ansley to do a prayer in one of her voices. Ansley is our gifted, creative child. She happily obliged by doing a special prayer in a nerd voice which was followed by a British voice. She's the family cut up and she keeps us in stitches.
And the cake, as usual, was awesome. After present and cake time we watched "We are Marshall" together. If you've never seen it I would recommend it. It's a true story of the tragedy of what happened to the Marshall University football program in 1970.

Finally, Garrett asked if I would play "set up" with him. "Set up" is a game Garrett has LOVED since he was 2-3 years old. It's basically setting army guys up and having a war. I'm not sure where the name came from. When your 12 year old asks you to play "set up" with him, you jump at it. Time goes by so fast and I know "set up" days are numbered. We had a great time.

It took us a long time to set it up - hence the name.He won. I've never beaten him at the game. He had a hidden grenade launcher that I could never find. It's serious business.
Carys and Anderson saw how much fun we had and when we were done, they had their own game.
I think the general approved.
It was a full day and was just too much to ask of some people to stay awake through the entire thing. We're pretty sure Garrett enjoyed his birthday because he said, "This is the best birthday I've ever had!" at least three times on Saturday.