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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Birthdays and Fans

We have a friend who celebrated a birthday yesterday. Take a look at the goober on the far right.

His name is Dee and he, his wife Laura, and their kids moved here last June. They are also missionaries. They actually live in the house we used to live in that the Baptist Mission graciously allowed us to live in (RENT FREE) for two years. They moved in and our families immediately hit it off.

Our girls babysit for their little boys. Their family has worshipped with our house church. Dee is a part of the men's morning prayer group that was started a couple of years ago. We've double dated with them before. Our kids get along great and we really enjoy being around Dee and Laura. They are goofy like us and we like that.

Anyway, yesterday was Dee's birthday. We all hung out at a nearby pool together for a little bit and then we came to our house for a birthday dinner. Nothing fancy. Just a meal and a cake.
Told you, he's a goober.

Our brother and sister Freitas and Auristela and their son were here as well.

Freitas was here to not only celebrate Dee's birthday but also help us install some ceiling fans. Right before we went to the states we bought 3 ceiling fans. When you move into an apartment or a house it comes with nothing. No closets, no kitchen cabinets, and no light fixtures. When we lived in the Baptist house they had light fixtures and fans so we put all our stuff in storage. After 2 years in a hot, humid storage unit, only one ceiling fan worked so we needed to get some new ones.

If you know me you know I have little to no "fix-it-up" capabilities. I can learn stuff and do some things but if I know someone else who can do something and likes to do it I have no problem asking them. And that's what I did before we left. I asked Freitas and Dee if they would mind coming to our house and putting up our fans. They said they would, but they got too busy and time got away from them and it just wasn't able to get done while we were gone.

So they came to celebrate and to work (sorry about that, Dee) last night.

While we were eating Freitas called his father-in-law to come help. His name is Sidney. He knows how to do almost everything. I can't tell you how much I love that guy. I love being around him.

Anyway, they put up 2 of our 3 fans and started trying to figure out the third when I told them to go home and go to bed. It was after 10:00.

We laughed and cut up the entire time and I thought, for the 10,000th time since we moved here almost 10 years ago, how much the Brasilians (and last night my American brother) are teaching me about selflessness. I could ask any of my Brasilian friends to do anything at any time of the day and I know they would do it. I know because I've seen it. These Brasilians are helping to flush my selfishness out.

I apologized to Dee last night for his boring birthday party. He smiled and said he was having a good time.

God's family was in our house last night and there is nothing better. Here are the guys in action last night and, yes, me holding a flashlight was about the extent of my helpfulness.

Happy Birthday Dee and thanks to you, Freitas and Sidney for allowing us to sleep with a fan over our bed last night. We've been thanking God for you guys even more since we saw the forecast for the next few days of 95 degree weather.

I'm pretty sure Anderson already enjoys the fan in our room.

Monday, January 30, 2012


I met my girlfriend over 25 years ago. In all the years since she's never been one to be athletic or stick with any kind of hard exercise regime. She talked about it a lot through the years and tried different things but nothing seemed to stick with her for very long.

That changed last year. My sister knew we would be in the states in December and asked if we wanted to run in the St. Jude half marathon in Memphis. She asked in August of last year. I told my girlfriend that we should do it together. She had never run more than 5km before so she had some serious doubts about her ability to do it but she found a training program on the internet and was willing to give it a shot. The program was for 14 weeks.

Once she started the program my girlfriend turned into someone I had never met before. The training schedule called for running 5 days a week. She only missed one day in 14 weeks. She never looked for an excuse to not run. She ran in cold (25 degrees F). She ran in heat. She ran in rain. She ran in cold and rain. She never quit.

There were many days when the training run was over that all I could do was laugh, give her a high five and ask who she was. I had NEVER seen that side of her before and let me just say, I loved it.

The half marathon was on December 3rd and she nailed it. She didn't stop one time and when she ended she wasn't winded and said she felt like she could have gone faster but she wanted to make sure she had enough gas at the end. I was so proud of her!

I told her, as she trained, that the hard part would be to continue running after the big race day was over. Being in the states with family during the holidays didn't help either. She had a big drop off in running days after race day. Today she began a new running/strengthening schedule.

We went to a nearby track where me, Anderson and Giovanni played with Giovanni's cars from Cars 2 while my girlfriend made her laps. As she passed by on every lap they would go to the track to clap and give her high fives. She cracked off an easy 30 minutes.

Anyway, her re-start today reminded me of a video that Ansley made. I had talked to Ansley before the half marathon about doing a "documentary" of my girlfriend's big day.

She, as always, made a great video. It's full of bloopers and running and other stuff. Two of my favorite parts are the special music she puts on when my dad shows up in his "special" hat. I also like the beginning of the video when my girlfriend, who has some pre-race jitters and doesn't want someone in her face, gets mad at Ansley for always being in her face with the camera.

If you want to catch a brief snippet of my girlfriend's awesome weekend then just watch the video. Great job Ans!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Different Schedules

If you know our family you know we like to go to bed early and wake up early. That's just who we are and we like it that way.

Ever since we've been home we've been dealing with some crazy jet lag. If you keep up with my girlfriend's blog then you already know about it. If not then you can click here to read her take on it.

With the jet lag we've been sleeping at weird times......

.......and even in weird positions.

That's right. My girlfriend walked in to check on Giovanni while he was taking his nap and found him in this position. It was like he woke up and started to get up and then fell asleep again as he was getting out of bed. And his feet just dangled off the floor.

Some people handle jet lag differently than others.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Little Guys, Big Sisters Update

Hey B and Ans,

I thought you might be missing your little brothers' summertime activities.

Giovanni has picked up the Blume little kid tradition of enjoying walking around in just his underwear. It's been pretty hot here and it didn't take "clothing boy" long to change his ways. He still prefers clothing but is getting used to the coolness that underwear only provides.

Here is a video of some recent dancing by your brothers that we thought you'd enjoy.

We also thought you would enjoy some reading pics we took of them the other day.

You also have another younger (although now bigger than both of you) brother who has been pretty busy since we got home. Guess what he and I did last night?
Lucky! (Hear it in your brains as Garrett would say it in his best Napoleon Dynamite voice.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More Mooching

We have some really great friends (more on them later) that are missionaries in the U.S. and they have a blog.

If you want to be stretched and challenged in your daily walk then you need to click here and read a recent blog post they did. You will be blessed....and stretched.....and challenged.

If you don't want to be blessed or stretched or challenged in your Christian faith then I guess my question to you is why not?

P.S. After you read this specific post spend some time on their blog and check out what God is doing through this family. It's pretty cool. God is really growing them in His image and through them His kingdom is growing here on earth. Then feel free to leave them an encouraging comment. Everybody likes those.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


We are trying to get readjusted to our time zone. It's been hard.

It's also hot. Sweat in our house hot. We are trying to get readjusted to our Brasilian summer which is even tougher after coming from the cooler U.S.

Honestly it's been hard for me to want to sit down and blog for all my faithful followers. Okay, so it's only about 3-5 but they are still faithful.

Because of my lack of brain power right now (some might say, "What do you mean right now?" as if my lack of brain power was a common thing......I'll choose to ignore them) I'm going to do some mooching off of other people.  I've done it before and I''m not ashamed of doing it again. I'm doing it now.

First mooch is off my girlfriend's blog. She shared a little about our jet lag and our first days back.

Click here to read it. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012


We made it home today. It was a relatively easy trip as God blessed us with good flights that were as close to being on time as we've ever had. We also got home in probably the fastest time ever for taking 3 flights from Memphis. Our layovers in the Miami and Rio airports were short.

I'm sure we'll share more about the trip and some of favorite people coming to meet us in Miami for a quick visit, as well as the welcome home gang that met us at the airport here in POA, but for now we wanted to thank you for your prayers for our safety.

We also wanted to leave you with a new (to us......old to the world) song we heard for the first time on our furlough. Our parents both have satellite radio in their cars and they graciously (thanks moms and dads) alllowed us to use their cars for the entire 3 months, except for the first week in Dallas when we had the "Man Van." Anyway, one of our favorite stations was music from the 40's.

It was there where we heard our new favorite song about Brasil.

Give it a listen. You can even read the words and sing along if you want to. Enjoy:

You've got to love Sinatra!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Going Home?

Tomorrow we leave the U.S. and head home to Brasil. In June we will celebrate 10 years of living in Brasil. It's gone by super fast. 

We love Brasil. Anderson cried when we left in October because he didn't want to leave his friends. It's hard for all of us to leave to come back to the states. Imagine picking up your entire family and living out of suitcases for the next 2-3 months, visiting different people and cities and states, asking people to share their money to support your ministry, taking your kids places where they may or may not know people, etc. and you get an idea of what our furloughs are like. 

Don't get me wrong. We love furloughs. We get to hang out with grandparents and aunts, uncles and cousins. We get to see friends we've known for years but haven't seen for the last 2. We get to eat food and go places we don't have back home. We get to make new friends. It's always good and always tiring. We call it a "good tired."

We've spent the last 3 months here. It's been our longest furlough ever. We normally stay 2 months but this time we stayed 3 because we need more financial support to be able to stay in Brasil and we needed to find a new sponsoring church. God has blessed us with a great new sponsoring church and He's still working on our financial situation. We have faith He will do something cool to help us stay in Porto Alegre. We still have peace that He is calling us to be there. 

The extra month allowed us to hang out with our best buds more than we've been able to do in the past. It's allowed us to spend more time with people instead of feeling like we were rushing through visits. It's been good. 

And so tomorrow we leave for Brasil. We leave for home. 


It's a strange world we live in. Our home is in Brasil and our home is here in the states. It's tough to leave our life in Brasil to come here. It's always tough to leave here after 2 months and go back to Brasil. Even more so after being here for 3 months this time. 

Garrett and I just came home and as we walked into the house he was sharing how he wanted to go home tomorrow (he greatly misses his buds, playing soccer, etc.). He's been talking about it for a few days. But he also shared how he's going to miss being with grandparents and having big yards to play in and seeing lots of trees and not just buildings. 

He's got a foot in two worlds. We all do and sometimes it's not easy but I don't think any of us would trade it for anything. We, literally, have families on two continents. Not many people can say that. We are blessed to have people hugging us here when we leave and those waiting to hug us when we get home. It's hard and really special at the same time. 

Our conversation and our feelings reminded me of one of our most favorite people. Her name is Dottie. You may remember her from a post we did in October. Click here if you missed that one. She was a missionary to the Netherlands for 15 years and now her job title is "Director for Missionary Care" at MRN. I couldn't think of a better person to take care of missionaries. Anyway, ever since we've known her she has posted a quote to her facebook, her blog and even her emails. 

The quote hit me today as I talked to my son. Here it is:

"If you came back, you wanted to leave again. If you went away, you longed to come back. Wherever you were, you could hear the call of the homeland, like the note of a herdsman's horn far away in the hills. You had one home out there and one over here, and yet you were an alien in both places. Your true abiding place was the vision of something very far off, and your soul like the waves, always restless and forever in motion." -Johan Bojer, "The Immigrants"-

This blog post was typed from the United States. Our home. 

The next blog post will be written (Lord willing after safe travels) from Brasil. Our other home. 

Very cool!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Post

Our daughter has posted something new on her blog about life in Ecuador.

You know what to do. Click here to read the blog and then post a comment to encourage her.

It's more homework for you but it's homework that will bless and encourage you.

Why not go there right now? You know you've got 5-10 minutes to read it, watch a video and post a comment.

No pressure but do it now and nobody gets hurt. We know where most of you live.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Back to School

This morning we put this goober (the one on the left.....not the college age looking super hot girl on the right)...

...in a car with my cousin's son (Andrew) as they made their way back to Texas to start the spring semester of college.

It's never a super warm fuzzy fun thing to put your kids on planes or in cars and then go live 5,000 miles away but it's part of growing up (for both parents and kids). And Bronwyn is so blessed to have so many good buds at college.

It's one of those deals where she didn't want to leave us but she also wanted to get back to her buds and school life. We understand. It's life.

We would appreciate your prayers for safety for Bronwyn and Andrew as they make the 10+ hour drive today.

We'd also appreciate prayers for all of them to have a great spring semester.


Friday, January 13, 2012


Hey Ans,

Thought you'd like to read a very cool article about your boyfriend.

Just click here.

I like the fact that he puts Jesus first. He also seems to be a man of great character and that's harder and harder to find these days. You have my permission to marry him if he asks.



Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mexican Food


The other day Bronwyn was craving guacamole so we took her to this place.

The best guacamole ever and Bronwyn definitely fed her face with lots and lots of it.

She was happy.

While there, Quigs got the camera as you know he likes to do.

Here are some of the pictures from his restaurant photo session.  Every time he pointed the camera at one of us, he would say, "Be a weirdo."  We did our best to obey.....

He has a gift.

Thought you'd like to see his handy work. Have a good day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Posts

My girlfriend (thanks for the reminder Brian.....guess I had a brain lapse) has started blogging again.

She's been sharing about blessings from 2011.

Just click here to go there. Once you get there just keep scrolling down to read the last couple of posts.

P.S. You guys did a good job with your homework. Ansley was really encouraged by your notes to her on her blog. Thank you and keep it up. You don't want detention do you?

Monday, January 09, 2012


Your homework for today:

1) Go to Ansley's blog. You can click here to read about her first week in Ecuador.

2) After you read her blog post go to the bottom and post a comment for her. You have no idea how encouraging a simple comment can be.

3) After posting your comment go to the right side of her blog and type in your email on her "SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG!" section so that you'll get an email letting you know when she blogs so you'll always be able to read what's going on and leave her those encouraging comments we just talked about.

4) Go back to number 1 and click on the blog right now and do those things.

None of what we've asked you to do takes very long. In 5 minutes you could do everything we asked. You'll then be blessed to know what God is doing in Ecuador, you'll get to laugh from time to time with Ansley (she's funny.....stay with the video on the blog and the ending will make you chuckle), you will have encouraged our daughter and you'll be signed up to always get her email.

I'm expecting that to be done by the end of this day. Remember it's your homework.

My wife taught school for 10 years before we moved to Brasil. She knows how to discipline when it comes to school work. Don't make me call her to deal with you because you didn't do your homework.  She will pop your knuckles with a ruler and you don't want that.

Just do your homework and no one gets hurt.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace.

Romans 8: 6

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Friday, January 06, 2012



As you know from calling us during the trip (we love the Magic JACK) we drove to Huntsville yesterday.

Here's what you missed:

Anderson saw a small airplane and asked if it was a dragon.

Anderson had his camera ready because he said, "If I see Bigfoot I want to have my camera ready because then we'll have proof that one really exists."

Never dull with that boy.

Giovanni had to wear his new hat and gloves and wouldn't allow anyone to take them off even though it was a warm day. He even took a nap with them on (until Bronwyn took his hat off before his little head started sweating).

Just thought you'd like the travel update.

P.S. Thanks for making mom laugh hard, as only you can do, when you called during our trip. Glad you had a good day and are getting settled in.

Thursday, January 05, 2012



Stephen just left to go back home. He's going to have a long day. Pops just took him, with Bronwyn for the ride, to the Greyhound station where he will take a bus to Little Rock. Then a taxi from the station there to the airport where he will fly to Houston. Then his dad will pick him up and take him back to College Station. Like I said, a long day for him.

We took our goodbye photos as we told him bye. First with the grandparents.

Then with your brothers and sisters.

As I walked back into the kitchen after telling him bye in the garage I found these two goobers doing this:

That, of course, morphed into more and more goofiness.

Don't worry, while you are in Ecuador your family will still be goofy.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Made It

We got a call from Ansley around 11:00 last night letting us know she made it safely to Quito.

We woke up this morning with an email letting us know that she had made it safely to the school/orphanage.

We wanted to thank you loyal readers who have been praying for her safe travels. You blessed us and our daughter.

First thing this morning we got to talk with her on skype.

Seeing Giovanni helped calm a bit of her nervousness.

My dad and I left to go to his weekly Tuesday morning prayer meeting with the "Memphis Guys" (and the group has grown since I posted about them almost 4 years ago) and when we came back people were still talking to Ansley.

As her nervousness grew again her 7 year old brother took matters into his own hands. He pulled up a chair and began reading page after page from his "Diary of a wimpy Kid" book as she started to unload her suitcases.

When she got nervous about her new surroundings, new people, new food, etc., we would hear Anderson speaking calming words to her and encouraging her to allow him to read some more. She allowed and he read some more.

When I got home my girlfriend said he had been reading to Ansley for about 30 minutes.

I love our kids and how they take care of each other.

P.S. Please keep praying for Ansley. That God's peace would just overwhelm her and that she would love her new apartment, new friends, the kids, Ecuador......just everything. Thanks.

Monday, January 02, 2012


Today Ansley gets on a plane heading to Ecuador. What she needs right now is your prayers for God's peace to cover her up.

She's felt some anxiousness over the last couple of days. We've told her that feeling is normal. We've also prayed over her, read scripture of God's promises over her and tried to help her laugh as much as possible.

We know she will have a great time and will make such an impact on the kids in Ecuador as well as be so blessed herself but from where she is right now, just hours before her flight, it's a bit nerve wracking.

So your prayers for God's peace to overwhelm her would be cool. For her to feel, really feel, the Spirit's presence in her life right now would be a huge blessing. For her to give all her worries to Him.

Your prayers are important to us and especially to her right now. Thank you for lifting up our daughter.

We are excited to hear how God answers your prayers.