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

Monday, December 26, 2011


One week from today this goober....

......will get on a plane to go to Ecuador.

She will be working with an orphanage/school and will be there for 5 months.

She is a little bit anxious, as any 18 year old would be, about her trip but she knows this is will be a great experience.

We wanted to share her new blog. It's www.ansleyblume.blogspot.com

You need to go to that site and check it out. On the right side of the blog you can add your email address to her "subscribe to my blog" section to receive emails whenever she posts.

Feel free to also leave her some encouraging comments on her posts. Those are always good to get.

For now we ask that you just pray for God to cover her up in His peace as she gets closer to getting on the plane. I know that once she gets to Ecuador she will love it and everyone will love her but the leading up to that day can be nerve wracking. She needs God's peace right now. Thank you.

It's also not too late to tithe to her ministry if God puts that on your heart. Feel free to get in touch with us or with her if you would like to know how to help out financially.

We will, obviously, miss our daughter for the 5 months she won't be home but we are so happy to see our kids go to different countries to grow God's kingdom.

Ansley will be blessed by her ministry and we know she will also bless so many.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Kid

I don't know of any kid that was made more for Christmas than Carys. All of our kids love Christmas. We all have a great time together and we love everything about Christmas.

But Carys......Carys LOVES Christmas and every little thing that is a part of December. 

Last year we did a blog about her love. You can click here to read it.

You can click here to read what we wrote about our Christmas girl in 2007. 

There are more blogs that we've done about her and Christmas but you get the idea. December is her month. 

She, like any kid, loves getting gifts but she especially loves picking out stuff for Giovanni for Christmas. Last year it was all the guys from Toy Story. This year it's the guys from the movie Cars 2. 

Right now she is alone with Giovanni in my parent's kitchen making gingerbread men and a chain out of construction paper. As I'm typing they just finished and it looks like this. 

She found an app for her ipod that counts down the days/hours/minutes until Christmas. 

She also found time to make a personalized video for me. One from Santa. She laughs every time we watch it. 

If you are bored then you can click on this link to watch it. 

We hope your house has a Carys in it. 

If it does we know your Christmas seasons are always happy. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


We haven't blogged in a while because we've been kind of busy.

I know it's time to blog again when Ansley asks me why I haven't blogged in a while and she has NEVER asked that question.

Lots to share since our last blog.

We drove 1,400 miles in 4 days last week as we burned our way through Texas and picked up Bronwyn from college. We could share some stuff from that trip, and probably will later, but we thought we'd share what happened last Sunday. It's kind of a big deal.

My sister, Melissa, got married to a goober named Gary.

The wedding was performed by my dad at my sister's house and it was super laid back with only immediate family invited.

It was very cool and very fun and very obvious to everyone that God brought these two together.

Ansley, our creative/gifted audio/visual child put together a wedding video that was shown during the ceremony.

It was, as always, very cool and she's already burned about 10 DVD's of it at the request of others.

I know some might not care at all about this video and others will love to see it. No big deal either way. It's my blog and I feel like sharing about my sis and new brother-in-law. Deal with it.

It was a great day and GT, we could not be happier that you and your kids are now part of our family.

Check out Ansley's work:

P.S.  And while we're on the subject of things that last forever.... Benay's parents are celebrating their 49th wedding anniversary today.  We love you,  Granna and Grandaddy!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Back to Texas-Confession Time

Tomorrow morning me, my girlfriend, Ansley and Giovanni will make the long drive back to Texas.

We'll spend one night with our good friends.

Then we'll meet with a pastor of a church on Wednesday morning followed by hanging out, praying and learning from our great friends at MRN.

Wednesday afternoon we'll go to Abilene and see some of our old friends, from when we lived there ten years ago, as well as hang out with our oldest goober until she finishes her last final.

We'll then meet with another church from west Texas and then we'll all come back to Tennessee.

Eight weeks ago today we arrived in Dallas to begin this furlough.

Every week since we arrived we have been speaking to different classes, small groups, prayer groups, friends, family and church families about what God is doing in Brasil as well as sharing our financial needs to be able to continue living in Porto Alegre.

To be honest, we are tired. Tired physically, emotionally and even spiritually. Every week of our furlough has been good and encouraging. God just keeps sending us new people and churches who want to partner with our ministry in Brasil. We know we are blessed and we are humbled by what God is doing.

At the same time we feel a little fried. We know this week is going to be good and we know we will be encouraged. We are excited to see our daughter, meet her buddies, see our old friends and meet with these two church families to share about God's family in Brasil.

We know it's going to be good but we are not excited about the eight hour drive to Dallas tomorrow followed by three more hours on Wednesday with possibly three to six more on Thursday. Then doing all of that in reverse order starting on Friday or Saturday. It's a long trip especially with a three year old and us being tired already keeps us from turning backflips at the thought of getting up at five to leave.

We would appreciate your prayers for our safety and that God would just give us an extra boost of energy as we enter this exciting week.

Thanks, as always, in advance.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"James S. Stewart of Edinburgh, Scotland, said, "The real problem of Christianity is not atheism or skepticism, but the non-witnessing, non-productive Christian trying to smuggle his own soul into heaven all alone." This is Satan's strategy, and furthermore, he has worked so on that word "ye" (Matthew 28:18-20) until now not even all "clergy" are witnesses!"

Herb Hodges from his book Tally Ho The Fox (The Foundation for Building World-Visionary, World-Impacting, Reproducing Disciples)

Friday, December 09, 2011

Tis the Season

It's Christmas time and we have a group of creative (mostly girls), like to do stuff together people in our family.

So the other day a few of them set out to make a gingerbread house. The two that spent the most time on it were Carys and my girlfriend but they got a little help from others as well.

 We think it turned out great.

Even Frosty liked it.
And this goober liked it as well.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

70 years

I love history. As long as I can remember I've loved history.

When I was a physical therapist I loved my patients at the nursing home and in home health.  I spent a year in outpatient orthopedic treating sports injuries and working with young people, but I wouldn't trade my time in the nursing home and in home health with my elderly patients for anything. Why? They were always just so honest and hardworking and I loved talking to them during their treatment about history.

You see most of my patients were of the age that fought, or were directly involved, with the happenings of World War 2.

I was fascinated by their stories.

I still remember helping one patient do exercises and walk in his home to get strength after a recent surgery. I always quizzed him about what the war was like.

One day he walked me to his desk and pulled out an album. He showed me a Japanese ID card and then a photo of a naked Japanese woman. They were obviously very old and I had no idea why he felt like he needed to show me these things. I surely wasn't expecting to be shown anything like that.

He then began to tell me a story of his time in the far east during the war and how he fought in different battles against the Japanese army.

One day he came around from behind a tree and was face to face with a Japanese soldier. They both went for their guns and my former patient got to his first and killed the Japanese soldier. The items he showed me were from that soldier.

As he shared, he didn't brag about those items like they were trophies. He was very quiet and humble and almost apologetic that he had been the one who did it but as he said, "It was kill him or he was going to kill me." You could see a sadness in his eyes as he relived that day. I can't even imagine being in a situation like that.

Why do I share all of that?

Yesterday, as I'm sure most of you are aware, marked the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. An event that took the United States into World War 2.

The men that fought in that war are now in their 80's and 90's, and each year that goes by more and more of these living history books die.

That generation has been called the Greatest Generation. From the patients that I treated who actually fought in that war, they would disagree. They will tell you they aren't any different than you or I but when their country, and the world really, needed them they responded. That's all.

So we don't mark the anniversary yesterday with joy. That war killed too many men, women and children to celebrate any day that marked the entrance into the war. Rather we celebrate the men who selflessly, and immediately after that bombing, volunteered to stand for freedom and fight against countries who, literally, wanted to take over the world.

They may not be the Greatest Generation of all time but I hope if you know any of those men who are still alive you will just give them a hug and tell them thank you.

They deserve much more than that but they would never say it and I'm pretty sure, from the ones I knew, they would prefer your hug.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Answered Prayer

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." Philippians 4:6

You may remember our blog from last week. If not you can go here and read it

Anderson and Giovanni got to see snow for the first time in their lives last week. Anderson was so happy to see it. It wasn't much and didn't stick to the ground. The same day he decided he wanted to have enough snow to build a snowman  and have a snowball fight. 

He didn't worry about it. He prayed about it. He told God what he needed......

......and this morning he thanked Him for what He did. 

They were in it for over 3 hours. If you read the blog from last week we thank you for your prayers as well. 

We'll try to post more pictures and funny videos later. 

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Nashville, Tennessee

On Sunday we spent a few hours with some of our most favorite people.

Quick story background: My girlfriend and I met at a little college in Arkansas. She actually transferred there for her junior year. Her first two years she went to a college in Nashville and Leigh was her college roommate.

Here are the two roomies now:

Leigh, and her husband Phil, are people that you immediately fall in love with. They are fun to be around, funny and their easy going nature make it so easy to strike up a conversation or start a new friendship.

Over the years, unfortunately, we haven't been able to be around them as much as we would like but it's another one of those really cool friendships where years seem like days. We won't see them for 2 years but when we do it's as if we had always lived next door to each other.

Our kids also love to go hang out with Phil and Leigh because of their kids as well. Olivia, Lillie Grace and Barr are three of the coolest kids I know.

We all laugh and goof off when we are together and I think that's why our love for them is so deep. They are a bunch of goobers just like us.

Seeing all of our good friends on our furloughs is one of the best things about furloughs but it also reminds us of the toughest things about living in Brasil. We are far away from our closest friends but that distance makes us really enjoy and appreciate the times when we are together. We definitely don't take those for granted.

We are so thankful for this family and what they mean to ours. I can't tell you how much we love them.

P.S. As of today, if my math is right, Leigh's mom has been in the hospital for 50 straight days and Leigh has been there every day with her. I know Leigh, and her whole family, would appreciate your prayers.

Monday, December 05, 2011

St. Jude Half Marathon

13.1 miles, no stopping and she got stronger as she went along

Her time?

2 hours and 23 minutes.

Here she is 2 minutes (look how good she looks!) after crossing the finish line and holding her medal:

I told you faithful readers that she was going to nail it didn't I?

I could not be more proud of what she's done over the last 3+ months.

I think a lifelong runner has been created.

More details, from her or me, will come later.

I intend to brag on my girlfriend some more.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. "

Ephesians 2:10

Saturday, December 03, 2011


After fourteen weeks of training five days a week this super,super cute girl (who just happens to be my girlfriend)...

....will defeat, crush really, a half marathon today. I could not be more proud of her.

Details to come later.

Friday, December 02, 2011


I'm not a huge tradition fan. I like new things.

There are some traditions I like. Like what our family does at Christmas time in Brasil. Like what we do on special days (birthdays and anniversaries) but other than those things I really don't hold to many traditions.

We only get to come back to the states every two years and things always seem to be a little different each time.

There is one thing that happens every two years, one tradition, that we all love and always look forward to.

Going to eat at the Adkins' house.  Joey and Angie and their kids Abigail, Madeline and Joseph.

We went to college with Joey and Angie. Joey was my best friend in college. I haven't had many best friends in my life. I can probably count on one hand people I would consider my "best friends." God has blessed me with so many good friends throughout my life but only a handful that I've felt some deeper kind of bond with. A "best friend" bond. To this day I still consider Joey one of my best friends.

Joey and Angie are the kinds of friends that we won't see for two years and when we see them again it's like we were just together yesterday.

Our traditions with them consist of a meal. Angie always cooks for us and it's always good. We like that tradition.

We love going to their house because we laugh so hard. I think we laugh, and hard, more with them in one night than we do for the rest of the year. We always cry from laughing when we are together. It's a tradition I love about being with Joey and Angie.

Our kids LOVE each other. It's a hard thing living in another country and then coming back for a brief period of time and having to eat with people that we might know but our kids don't. They have to sit and try to make conversation with other kids they don't know. This doesn't happen with the Adkins' kids. When we are in Memphis our kids are always asking when we are going to Joey and Angie's house. They tell us their kids do the same.

When they are together they eat supper and then they play hide and seek. I don't know how this got started years ago but it's something they all look forward to and they all play it. From 3 year old Giovanni to 18 year old Ansley (and 20 year old Bronwyn when she's with us) and everyone in between. They will play for hours and they love it. While we grown ups are talking and crying from laughter at the dinner table the kids go all around the house playing their game. This is another tradition that I love about being with the Adkins.

Finally we have the tradition of the kids taking a group picture....

.....the parents taking a group picture.....

.....and then it morphs into stupid time. It's another tradition that happens every time we are with them.

And we all love it.

We love these guys because they've known us for 25 years. They really know us, warts and all, and we have a deep bond together. We can be ourselves and it's like, in some ways, we are still all 20 years old. I like that about these guys. I mean, come on, you have to have a pretty deep friendship to take pictures like our last one.

We were talking on the way home from their house last night that our 4 hours together seemed like 30 minutes. It's always like that with Joey and Angie. I like that tradition as well.

Now that I think about it I guess I do like traditions.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Guaranteed Laugh

Over our almost 10 years in Brasil God has blessed us with lots of really good friendships with other American missionaries from the Baptist mission board.

I share those friendships today to tell you that I mooched the video below from our missionary friends' facebook account today. Thank you Keri and Diane!

Everybody needs to laugh, and this video had my girlfriend and myself in tears. We think it will do the same for you.

I promise it's worth the next 4 minutes of your time. You won't regret watching it.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Prayers answered......more needed

As you know, yesterday we asked for prayers for snow for our kids, especially Anderson.

Anderson and Giovanni have never seen snow and the rest, except for Bronwyn who now lives in the states, haven't seen it in almost 10 years.

So Ansley was 8/9ish when she last saw it, Garrett 5/6 and Carys 3/4. You get the idea, it's been a while.

Right after I posted the blog for yesterday the snow came. Granted it wasn't enough to cover the ground. It wasn't even enough to stick on the ground but it was snow. SNOW!

And our kids were happy.

I thought Anderson would freak out when he saw it, and he did, but the other goobers had just as much fun getting out in the "snow storm" as Anderson did. They borrowed some warm clothes, hats, gloves, etc. from my girlfriend's parents and all went out to play.

We live in the coldest part of Brasil. We do have 4 seasons and it does gets cold in our city. Really cold. Our homes have no insulation so when the cold comes it stays in your house. Some winter days you can see your breath in your house. It gets cold. But it never snows in our city.

So here is a brief view of what a morning looks like when your kids aren't used to snow:

Now Anderson wants enough snow to build a snowman and have a snow ball fight.

Feel free to add that to your prayer list as well.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Prayers Needed

This morning at 3:30 my girlfriend and I were woken up by a sound of one of our kids crying.

I got up, went out to the den and found this little guy......

......bent over a chair just sobbing.

I asked if he was sick? No was his answer.

I asked if had a bad dream? No was his answer.

I then asked what it was and he pointed out the window.

What I saw was this (except it was dark):

The back yard of my girlfriend's parents house.

He said, "No snow!" and began to cry even harder.

The weather forecast said that there was a "possibility" of snow here last night. Maybe one inch. Anderson never heard "possibility." All he heard was "snow" and that it was coming.

Anderson has never seen snow and is super excited about possibly seeing some on this trip to the states.

I tried to calm him down by telling him that we don't get much snow where our grandparents live and if we do it doesn't usually come until later in the year and that we still have plenty of time here until we have to get back on the plane to go home.

His crying slowed down and he went, one more time, to look out the window.

About this time a light came on in the kitchen. It was my girlfriends mom. She came over to me and said, "Because there's no snow?" It was more of a comment than a question.

We all know how badly Anderson wants to see snow.

Feel free to ask God to bless us with some snow while we are here in the states. That would be one of the best Christmas presents Anderson could get this year.

Monday, November 28, 2011

We just put this big goober on a plane going back to college (I picked an awesome picture of you B. I knew you would love it. I love how you had your left eye looking up and the right looking straight ahead......How did you do that?).
We would appreciate prayers for her safety as she goes back to Texas.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Linger in my presence a while. Rein in your impulses to plunge into the day's activities. Beginning your day alone with Me is essential preparation for success. A great athlete takes time to prepare himself mentally for the feat ahead of him before he moves a muscle. Similarly, your time of being still in My presence equips you for the day ahead of you. Only I know what will happen to you this day. I have arranged the events you will encounter as you go along your way. If you are not adequately equipped for the journey, you will grow weary and lose heart. Relax with Me while I ready you for action."

Reference verses: Ephesians 2:10; Hebrews 12:3

From Sarah Young's book Jesus Calling (thanks GT for sending it to us in Brasil.....it's an incredible devo book that we read daily)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Week-Part 4

Yesterday, obviously, was Thanksgiving Day.

A couple things I'm thankful for.

First: These goobers with Ansley.

My mom and dad celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary yesterday. I could not have better role models of what a Christian couple looks like. The way they love, respect, talk to and treat each other is an example for everyone.

I'm thankful for the way they have continued to grow their faith. They aren't stagnant. I'm thankful for the way they look for ways to grow God's kingdom by being intentional in making new relationships and sharing about Jesus. They aren't stagnant. And I'm thankful for the way their relationship with each other grows deeper and deeper. They aren't stagnant.

I'm blessed that they are my parents and my family is blessed that they are the shepherds of the Blume family name.

Second is this guy:

His name is Freitas, he is our brother in Brasil and today is his birthday.

We've known him for a few years and were blessed to see him give his life to Christ last year.

He's an amazing man and we wish him "Parabéns" on his special day.

Te amamos Freitas!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Week-Part 3

Today I am thankful for a couple of things.

First: I am thankful for all of our family being together.

The older the kids get the more spread out around the globe we get. Bronwyn lives in the states now, Ansley is getting ready to move to Ecuador for 5 months and then she will move to the states to go to college and we, obviously, still live in Brasil. We love where God is taking everyone and what He is doing with them but are thankful when we can all get to one place.

This week we are in Huntsville, Alabama where my girlfriend's parents live.

Bronwyn flew from Texas to Birmingham last night. There is an airport in Huntsville but it was too expensive for us to fly here directly here so last night we (Ansley, my girlfriend and myself) drove an hour and a half to Birmingham to pick her up.

Her flight was supposed to arrive at 9:40 p.m. but there was a delay in Dallas. Something about a problem with a window on the plane. After a long delay they moved everyone to another plane. She arrived at almost midnight.

It didn't matter what time it was, we were happy to see our oldest goober.

We got home around 2 a.m. and Bronwyn was met with Carys' handiwork.

She then just had to get her Giovanni touch before she went to bed.

This morning she got to see the other goobers and everyone loved it.
 Anderson wrote her a story and she read it with her bed full of brothers and sisters.
Here is a brief view of what the first fifteen minutes of her day looked like.

We'll all be together until Monday when we have to take her back to Birmingham at 6:00 a.m. We will enjoy our time together.

Second: I am thankful for this cute, cute chick (not the caterpillar but the girl).

I realize no one but us will probably care but since it's our blog I'm going to share anyway. Twenty five years ago today we went out on our first date.

I still don't know why she said yes but am thankful she did.

She's the most amazing, Christlike woman (person for that matter) I've ever met and I'm thankful that God put her in my life.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Week-Part 2

This week I am also thankful that Giovanni is potty trained. He just learned within the last couple of weeks.

And as a guy he's also learned, without any training, where his throne is and what you do when you are on it.

You'll notice the pacifier in one picture. That's our next adventure.

The Bible tells us to be thankful for everything. This week we are thankful for our last child learning how to poop on a commode.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Week-Part 1

Since it's Thanksgiving week I thought we would share some stuff we are thankful for. God really blesses our family and we have lots to be thankful for and we could make this a month long theme but there are some specific things that we've been thankful for lately. No specific order of importance to any of them. Just things that God has obviously blessed our family with lately and we wanted to share our thankfulness to Him.

First up: Ansley

She received her first college acceptance letter from a school in Texas last week.
We weren't surprised. She's an awesome student. So far she's applied to only one school and was quickly accepted.

We are super proud of her no matter where she decides to go to college.

It's always a cool thing to get an acceptance letter in the mail.

Go Wildcats. Maybe.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

“I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: ‘Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They’re his people, he’s their God’” (Rev. 21:3 MSG). The narrator makes the same point four times in four consecutive phrases:

“God has moved into the neighborhood”
“making his home with men and women”
“They’re his people”
“he’s their God”

The announcement comes with the energy of a six-year-old declaring the arrival of his father from a long trip. “Daddy’s home! He’s here! Mom, he’s back!” One statement won’t suffice. This is big news worthy of repetition. We shall finally see God face-to-face. “They shall see His face” (Rev. 22:4 NKJV).

Let this sink in. You will see the face of God. You will look into the eyes of the One who has always seen; you will behold the mouth that commands history. And if there is anything more amazing than the moment you see his face, it’s the moment he touches yours. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Rev. 21:4 NCV).

God will touch your tears. Not flex his muscles or show off his power. Lesser kings would strut their stallions or give a victory speech. Not God. He prefers to rub a thumb across your cheek as if to say, “There, there…no more tears.”

Isn’t that what a father does?

Max Lucado

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Check this out!!

We are so excited and proud of our church family in Brazil.

Yesterday was a national holiday and they spent the day in service!  They laid a tile floor in one of our church members' home.  This is a family who lived in a favela (like a slum) near the airport.  With the expansion of the airport, they were given a very small duplex-style house.  However, it only had concrete floor and walls and the moisture was making the little ones in the house constantly sick with coughs.  Our house church saved money, bought the materials and laid a tile floor for this family.

While the men did this, the women were busy putting together Christmas gifts to take out to the drug rehab center in a few weeks.

Check out our sister, Leni's blog here to see pictures and read more about the story.  You can use the google translator on the bottom right side of the blog page to translate to English. The translation isn't perfect, but it will give you the idea.

We can't describe the pride and thankfulness we have for our Brazilian family.  Come down and get to know them!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Don't trust your own strength, but trust in your Lord who loved you from eternity, before you loved Him.


Thursday, November 10, 2011


After a 24 hour delay in Brasília (the capital of Brasil), Ansley finally made it to Memphis.

She was met by a big, excited group.

The waiting was the hardest part but everyone made it. Giovanni got so excited when he saw Ansley that he fell on his bum. Take a look:

Carys decorated everyone's face to welcome Ansley. Everyone except a certain teenage boy.

I guess I can't complain about the teenage boy. On the way home he proudly told Ansley that he showered, shaved and put on deodorant just for her. That is probably the best present a teenage boy could give a big sister. He was glad she was back with us.

We all are.