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

Monday, November 30, 2009

Staying a few more days

Today was the day  I was going to post asking for prayers for safety for our trip back home to Brasil.  

As I sit to write this post we should be about an hour away from heading off to Dallas on the first leg of our trip.  

During the night last night those plans changed.  


Giovanni woke up yesterday with a rash on one side of his face.  He did this before about a month ago when we were in Dallas.  It lasted a day and it went away.  We assumed this time would be no different.  

Here is what he looked like yesterday:
Here is what he looked like when he woke up this morning:
Pretty, right?

Believe it or not it actually spread even more after taking these photos.  These pictures, as bad looking as they are, really can't show the severity of his hives. 

Me, Benay and my dad just got home after spending almost 7 hours taking care of our sick little guy.

We first took him to a neighborhood clinic to see a Nurse Practitioner.  She said she didn't have the medication to treat him and sent us to a bigger neighborhood clinic.  One that is affiliated with a big hospital in town.  There we paid a nice amount to see a Dr. we like to call Dr. Hands Off.  He poked Giovanni a time or two, did nothing else and said he was fearful that it could be this serious syndrome and sent us to a really good pediatric hospital in downtown Memphis.  We are familiar with this hospital as Garrett stayed there a few days when he was a 6 week old baby. It's a really good hospital. 

God really began to bless us at this hospital. We were told an E.R. doctor would be waiting for us when we got there.   We got Giovanni checked in and then my dad saw a pediatric nurse that our family has known for years.  She immediately took care of our family. 

We then were blessed by the doctor.  He was very knowledgeable, reassuring, encouraging, patient and explained everything to us.  He told us it was probably an allergy and that the guys at the neighborhood clinics are always sending him babies because they just don't want to deal with them in their clinics.  He said he was actually glad because those doctors were lazy and he preferred that they didn't treat little babies. 

He gave Giovanni some medicine and told us he had a 1 in 10,000 chance that his symptoms were the serious syndrome that the clinic doctor mentioned.  He saw no signs or symptoms of the syndrome.  (It's called Stevens-Johnson syndrome if anyone cares) 

He did however tell us to postpone our flight home just so we could know for sure that it isn't Stevens-Johnson syndrome as well as making sure he is completely healed before he gets on the plane.  

From what the E.R. doctor thinks Giovanni is now officially allergic to penicillin. 

Through this very long day God really blessed us.  He blessed us with a great E.R. doctor as well as nurses. 

We were a little concerned about paying for our hospital visit since we only have Brasilian insurance.  When we were leaving we were told if we could pay today they would knock 60% off the price since we have no American insurance. We did. I actually hugged the bill collections person when we left.  A very unexpected, money saving blessing from the Lord. 

We then went straight to the airport to change our tickets. After seeing Giovanni and seeing the hospital information, the worker at American Airlines changed every ticket for free. There wasn't even a discussion about paying for changing the tickets.  One more blessing.  

When we got home the girls told us they had already been in contact with our brothers and sisters in Brasil.  We were told that there is already a prayer vigil planned for Giovanni for God to heal him.  The blessings continue.   

We are thankful that it looks like it was only an allergic reaction and that with medicine he should be healed up in 3-4 days.  

We ask for your prayers for our boy.  As always, thanks in advance. 

As for Giovanni, he is sleeping hard right now.  We think we'll have enough helpers around who will want to pamper him while he is sick. 

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The devil never sleeps, and your flesh is very much alive. Prepare yourself for battle. Surrounding you are enemies that never rest.

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

1-2-3.....Put your phrase here

Tonight we did some last minute shopping with my cousin and his wife to get the things we need before we head back to Brasil on Monday.  We were blessed by our short time with them. 

Bronwyn, Ansley, Garrett, Carys and Anderson were also with us.  It was kind of wild and it's never boring when so many of our kids go shopping with us.  

Bronwyn started bugging Garrett about his long hair and how he needed a haircut. Garrett NEVER wants to cut his hair. 

After some friendly play fighting between the two about the haircut, we got this exchange:

Garrett:  "1-2-3.......Be quiet."
Bronwyn:  "1-2-3......Cut your hair."
Garrett:  "1-2-3......Go to college."


I have no idea why they put the 1-2-3 before they cracked on each other but it worked for their conversation.  You can actually put anything behind the 1-2-3 beginning and somehow it works. 
Go ahead.....try it. 

It's not always good natured play fighting, like tonight, between the kids but we know they love each other and will always stand up to protect their brothers and sisters. 

We also know that, even though he might not admit it, Garrett will miss Bronwyn when she goes to college next year.  

Until then, we'll keep enjoying these funny conversations.  

Friday, November 27, 2009


We had a great Thanksgiving yesterday.  Our day started with me and my sister running a race together.
She started running over the past few months and has really done great in the races she's entered.  She finished 5th in her age group yesterday. 
It was called the Turkey Trot.  They had relay teams who literally had turkey leg batons to hand off to their teammates.
More than 2,000 people showed up to run in the 30-40 degree weather. 
I had a great time running with my sister.  
We then enjoyed Thanksgiving at my sister's house.  It was a full house.  

For us, Thanksgiving means family, food and lots of pictures.  
We had lots of people together. Benay's parents, my cousin from Colorado, my nephews were in town, my aunt and uncle and some friends of my parents from their church. Whether we are here or in Brasil, the Blume family always likes to have lots of people together at Thanksgiving. 
The day before we celebrated Christmas with Benay's parents.

Yesterday we celebrated with my family. 
Last night we went to my other aunt's (my dad's sister) house and hung out for a while with her, her husband and two of my cousins and their spouses. 

As we end our time in the states we were reminded yesterday of how much we have to be thankful for.  

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Special Day

Yesterday my mom and dad celebrated their anniversary.

47 years together. Amazing.

We were able to celebrate with them last night. They are a great example to all around of what a Christian marriage should look like.

I asked our family to share what they see in them. Here's what they said:

Giovanni: "They like to babysit and feed me."

Anderson: "They are really fun. I've been waiting to see them for like 10 or 5 or 2 years."

Carys: "They never fight. They always help each other."

Garrett: "They are special grandparents and do everything they can to make us happy. They spend lots of time with us. I love them a lot."

Ansley: "You can tell how much they love each other. They complete each other."

Bronwyn: "How much they love each other. They are always so sweet to each other."

Benay: "They are a great example of how they always put the other one first."

Me: "I will forever be grateful to my dad for showing me how to make my wife feel like a queen. He was a living example of this. He not only taught this with words but, more importantly, with actions in how he treated my mom. My mom continues to show me, my wife and kids what a Christian wife, mom and grandmother looks like. Living a faith filled life without ever calling attention to herself.  Quietly leading by example while not being afraid of sharing her faith. 

We are very blessed to have 4 parents/grandparents who strive to follow Christ.

Happy anniversary mom and dad. 

Monday, November 23, 2009

Washington DC was Fun!

Here are some more pictures from Bronwyn and my trip to Washington DC.  We had so much fun!  Also, what is with my hair in the picture that Kevin posted a few days ago?  I ripped my contact on the first day there, and to add to the thick glasses I have rooster hair?  Oh well. Here are some (hopefully) better pictures:

Here is Bronwyn and I at the Metro Station.  We became "pros" at using the Metro.  It was great!
The first day we had gorgeous weather and visited the Washington Monument:
Then the beautiful, and very moving World War II Monument.  We felt very proud to be Americans!
From there we had a beautiful walk to the Lincoln Memorial.  The fall trees were so pretty!
Here is the place where Martin Luther King stood at the top of the Lincoln Memorial steps when he made his famous speech for civil rights.
We walked a lot that day, visited the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History...... 
where we saw a display of the largest amethyst discovery in the world from our home state of Rio Grande do Sul.  Kind of exciting!
We then had a nice lunch....
walked by the Capitol Building.....
and visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
We ended that day with a visit to the National Holocaust Museum which was wonderful.
The next day my sister, Cheryl, took a day off from work and we went to Arlington National Cemetery.

That afternoon, we went to a huge thrift store, but I didn't take pictures.  It was fun, though.
The next day, my niece, Kate, sacrificed a day of schooling and accompanied us to the National Art Gallery. (I'm thinking....I'm thinking....)
We had a nice lunch with Kevin's cousin, David...
then on to an IMAX film. (in 3D!)
That night we were treated to a delicious dinner at a restaurant called Artie's.  Yummy!
The best thing about our DC trip was spending time with our family that we love!  
 My sister is one of the hugest blessings of my life and I loved being with her and her family!
Thanks Mike, Cheryl, Kate and Cal for such a fun time.  We can't wait for our next visit!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanks and a Prayer Request

This morning Benay and Bronwyn's flight arrived safely in Memphis. They enjoyed 4 days with family in the D.C. area. Yesterday Ansley and I arrived safely in Memphis after a 9 hour drive from the Windy City. We all had a great time.  Thank you for your prayers for safety.  God really blessed our trips. 

This morning my mom had to take my dad to the emergency room for some pretty strong stomach pains. For my dad to willingly go to the E.R. we knew the pain was really strong. Looks like it's an infection that can be treated by some minor changes. We just got back from visiting with him. He's been on IV antibiotics today and he's already doing much better. He's in no more pain. He has to stay overnight to make sure everything is okay.

We ask that you please pray for a quick recovery and that the cure will be those minor changes (diet and meds) instead of anything more drastic (surgery).

As always, thanks in advance.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


One of the things I have liked about our time in Chicago is hearing all the different languages. We've heard Spanish, Russian, Italian and all kinds of Asian dialects. 

Today Ansley and I spent most of our day visiting Wheaton College.  We'll share more about that visit on another day.  

After our tour and spending time with an admissions counselor we ate a late lunch.  We spent the afternoon just hanging out on the campus.  By the time we got back to our hotel tonight we were too tired to go out and sit down for dinner at a restaurant. We were still a little hungry so we decided to go to a nearby grocery store to get a snack.  

We went to a Super H store. We had no idea what kind of grocery store it was.  About 10 seconds after we entered the store we found out it was a Chinese store.  Every package was written in Chinese.  They even had a Chinese news channel on big screen tvs.   

Instead of leaving we decided to try to find something to eat.  

We found the snack row and ended up being stumped between two snack choices.  They were the only snacks we found that were translated.  

We couldn't decide between Jolly Pong or Leaf Pie.  

After about 5-10 minutes of discussion we gave up and went to a K mart.  

We love Chicago.  

Tomorrow we head back to Memphis.  We would appreciate prayers for our safety. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tourist Day

Ansley and I spent the day in downtown Chicago. We visited the Willis Tower (used to be the Sears Tower). It's the tallest building in the United States. We then spent a few hours at the Navy Pier.  Very cool place.  Chicago is a very beautiful city.  

Benay and Bronwyn spent the day on their own in D.C.  I don't know every place they went but I know they spent time at the WWII museum as well as the Holcaust museum.  They were deeply touched by both places. 

We also spoke to the little guys in Memphis.  They were having a good time with my parents. 

You can tell we don't spend much time away from each other because our family literally made around 10 cross country phone calls to each other to check out how everyone was doing.  We are a pretty tight group. 

Tomorrow Ansley and I will check out Wheaton College.  Please pray that God will give her wisdom and peace as she begins to process everything from the 5 different colleges she has visited since we've been back in the states. 

Chicago and D.C. pictures to come.   

Monday, November 16, 2009

Two more trips

We ask that you pray for our family today as we will be separated until Friday.

This morning Benay and Bronwyn will take a plane to Washington D.C. to visit Benay's sister and her family as well as my cousin. They will be there until Friday morning.

Ansley and I also leave today and we will be driving to Chicago for her last college tour. We'll be checking out Wheaton College. We are thinking it's going to be around 9 hours in the car. We will be coming back on Thursday.

The rest of the little guys will be staying here hanging out with my parents.

Last night when Benay was reminding Anderson of our trips he began to cry for about 15 minutes. He didn't want her to go. Ansley then took over and played with him to make him forget his sadness. 

We've also never been away from Giovanni for more than 1 day. Benay was having baby withdrawals the other day when she was separated from him for about 7 hours as we took Ansley on another college visit.  Four days away is going to be pretty tough. 

I confess I'm one of those guys that doesn't like to be away from my wife for even one night.  

It will be a tough but fun week for everyone. 

We know the kids will have a blast with my parents. They already have some things lined up and it's always fun. It's probably tougher on us than it is on them.   In fact, when Ansley was cheering up Anderson, she gave him a "To Do List" notepad and had him make a list of the fun things he was going to do while Mom and Dad are gone.  Here is his list (with translations):

1.  MEKC-A-PB-AND-J (make a PB & J)
2.  GO-TO-TEH-PARCK (go to the park)
3.  GO-PET-PET-PATIO (go putt-putting)
4.  BES-BUL-WEIT-GARETT (baseball with Garrett)
5.  KARES-L (Carrousel in the mall)
6.  MECKCHKS (Milkshakes)
7.  GO-TO-THE-ZOOO-WHET-ANTMALESA (go to the zoo with Aunt Melissa)
8.  GO-TOA-MUOVE (go to a movie)
9.  PIKNEK-AT-TEH-PARCK (picnic at the park)
10.  ET-I-C-KREM-SAM-WEHES (eat ice cream sandwiches)
11.  MEK-BRIS-LETS (make bracelets)

After spending some time making this list, Anderson felt much better and now says he will be fine if his mom goes away for a few days.  

We look forward to our trips. Chicago is one of my all time favorite cities. It's been a while since I've been there. Ansley is excited about checking it out. Benay is also excited about visiting family and seeing D.C. with Bronwyn. 

We ask that you pray for our safety and that God will bless our travels. Thank you in advance.

I'm sure we'll share lots of pictures later.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

To pray for others is of divine appointment, and it represents the highest form of Christian service.

E.M. Bounds

Friday, November 13, 2009


We've shared before that we have 4 seasons where we live in Brasil.  This tends to be a shock to a lot of Americans as most people think of Brasil as hot all the time.  There are places in Brasil where it is warm year round but we don't live in one of those places. 

Even though we have 4 seasons we don't really have many trees changing colors in the fall or leaves falling off.  

So being here in the states at this time of year has been a new experience for most of our kids. 
They've been blessed to see lots of beautiful trees....
....and lots of leaves. 
Garrett and Carys even helped their granddad rake the leaves.  I was impressed at their willingness to help in doing this hard chore.  

They worked hard.  
They also had time to play (can you see Garrett?).....
......as well as ride a lawnmower to finish cleaning up the leaves.
We think they like fall.