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

Friday, November 30, 2012


Every Friday Gi and his classmates get to take a toy to school.

Guess what he took today?
May the force be with you on this Friday.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Game Time Redo

Remember the big game last week? If not then just click here.
With one minute left, and the score tied 1-1, Garrett's team had a free kick close to the goal. If the game ended like it was we would have gone to the penalties to see who moves on to the final so we were, obviously, hoping to score on the free kick and end it.

As we set the ball up for the kick the other teams coach came onto the field, grabbed the ball and kicked it into the trees. He, apparently, didn't like the fact that we had chosen to use our ball instead of the ball they brought. Serious stuff right?

Some of our assistant coaches then bumped up the stupidity as they ran across the field and exchanged words with their coach and one of our assistants gave a slight push to their coach.

Everyone separated and then I saw the refs leaving. Like bags packed and going home type leaving.

Our team just stood on the field as the coaches talked to the directors of the tournament. Then everyone left.

We found out they suspended the game and would tell everyone the next day what the verdict was.

The next day we found out that both teams were eliminated from the tournament which, I thought, was a stupid decision. Punish the coaches, not the players, for not setting the right example and doing the right thing.

Anyway, after practice yesterday Garrett told me that the decision was reversed and the game is going to be finished today. They will play 5 or 10 minutes and, if no one scores the deciding goal, they will go to the penalties. The championship game will follow immediately after.

Great for Garrett's team, bad for Garrett. He didn't practice yesterday because he had a hurt leg. It feels better today and he's going to go to the game and see if he can play.

Right now he is at school studying with a friend for a test. Studying two hours before his game? I don't even know who he is anymore. His priorities are so messed up.

Here's hoping that the next post about this tournament will also include Garrett's team holding a trophy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


House a complete mess with cookie ingredients and craft stuff everywhere?


Super cute girlfriend using her amazing creativity to expand the cookie menu as well as making crafty stuff (like mustache pillows that sold as fast as she could make them last time)?

Updating our facebook page to announce where we will be over the next few days. (You can like us at:  http://www.facebook.com/AmericanCookiesPOA)


Carys following Gi around with the Ipad setting up pictures of him for Instagram marketing? (Carys set everything up and said you can follow us at americancookiespoa)


Working on our website (www.americancookies.com.br) to make sure everything looks good?


Sixteen year old running to the kitchen any time he hears that a cookie got burnt or broken with the question, "So can I have that one? You can't sell that!"


Staying up until 11:00 and getting up at 4:00 to keep up with cookie demands?


Then it must be school bazar time in our house.

Over the next 10 days we will be working at three different schools selling our stuff and, hopefully, growing our new business.
We would appreciate your prayers for our family and for American Cookies.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Engaged-The Revision

You know how there have always been jokes about mothers-in-laws and sons-in-laws and how they don't get along?

We won't have that problem here? Why? Because my girlfriend is already protecting her future son-in-law.

Yesterday I did a blog about the newly engaged couple and I "accidently" put a picture of Ansley (who was wearing Stephen's hat and glasses.....so you can see it was an honest mistake) in the place of Stephen.

When I showed my girlfriend she laughed. She thought it was funny.

Then she started worrying about Stephen. That maybe he wouldn't think it was as funny as we did. That maybe he got his feelings hurt. Then Garrett got home, saw the blog, and felt sorry for Stephen. I knew what conversation was coming and I was right. My girlfriend said, "You have to do a new blog and put a real picture of Stephen on it."

So here is the new picture and what Bronwyn's new fiance actually looks like:
If I'm being completely honest my girlfriend was very much worried for Stephen but she also confessed she didn't want people to think that B's future husband looked like her sister.

And if you are curious, I called B and found out that Stephen laughed when he saw the blog. Nice job Stephen. You'll do fine in this family!

So welcome to the family Stephen. You already have your protectors and your main one is your future mother-in-law.

Monday, November 26, 2012


On Thanksgiving day our oldest daughter, Bronwyn, got engaged at my parents house.

We wished we could have been there but are thankful for skype and our Ooma phone to keep us close. We were kept up to date with the minute by minute happenings, first by grandparents and then by Bronwyn. It was fun for all of us.

They are thinking of a May date and everyone here is excited.

We are also excited to have Stephen as part of our family. He's a Christian, he treats our daughter the right way and he has survived prolonged periods of time with our family and our loudness and wildness didn't scare him off.

So welcome to the family Stephen.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

"If you make disciples, you always get the church. But if you make a church, you rarely get disciples."

Mike Breen from Building a Discipling Culture

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Dear Winnie and Adwee,

We had a good Thanksgiving day.

Mom worked in the kitchen most of the morning getting ready for supper. I continue to be amazed at her ability to make everything from scratch. No "cans of this" or "ready made that." She is, as you guys already know, the best.

Anderson had been ready for a few days for mom's food and for Thanksgiving.  So ready he decided to make a turkey hand drawing and hang it up on the wall in the hall.
The kids spent the afternoon, after Anderson got home from soccer practice, getting their cookies ready.

After I picked up Garrett from his soccer practice we came home for Thanksgiving supper. All Garrett could talk about on the way home was the food he was about to eat and how he remembered last years Thanksgiving in Memphis.

Gi didn't want to eat anything except one bite of the Bourbon store cooked chicken (too hot to do turkey) before he got some cookies and pie. He and I had some words about the food situation. He didn't like the conversation. I wasn't fond of it either. He finally ate a little and mom let him off easy and gave him some pie. You guys can imagine how all that went.

Garrett, in the middle of supper, said, "I sure wish Bronwyn and Ansley were here."

Typical family pictures. You gotta love Garrett.

After supper the boys got to watch a little American football.
And we were all in bed by 9:00 with full stomachs.

Only thing we missed out on was having you guys here.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Over the last few days on facebook I've seen a lot of people sharing things they are thankful for as we approached Thanksgiving.

I have much to be thankful for in my life.

But on this day I am most thankful that this very, very cute girl.....

.....agreed to go on a first date with me 26 years ago today.

God has used her to, literally, change my life.

Did I also mention she's very cute?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Game Time

Tonight is game night. 

It's the semi-finals and I get to watch my new favorite soccer team in Porto Alegre. 
I also get to watch one of my two (the other being Anderson) all time favorite players. 
They are really getting good....

......and they really take care of each other and have fun together. 
It's like a family. 

I'm glad God led us to this team. Garrett is blessing his teammates and we've seen the way his teammates have blessed him greatly as well. It's been very cool to watch. 

Feel free to cheer along with us tonight. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

On our 13th wedding anniversary my girlfriend gave me a Bible.

In the front she wrote me a little note and the note ended with the verses from Ecclesiastes.

The Bible book mark was marked on the page of those verses and my girlfriend had underlined those 4 verses.

The book mark has never moved from that page.

I think a lot about those verses and what they mean to me in my relationship with my girlfriend.

If you aren't familiar with them they say:

"Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble. And on a cold night, two under the same blanket can gain warmth from each other. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer."

Why do I share this bit of our personal history?

I was reminded of these verses last week and how my girlfriend takes care of me.

A situation recently came up within our house church family. A sin that needed to be confronted. If you've ever followed the Biblical instruction to go talk to a brother, face to face, about a sin you know it's not the easiest or funnest thing.

This had to be done a couple of weeks ago. It happened on a Sunday morning and, thank the Lord, three other brothers went with me.

I was so happy that our family in Christ did the right thing. It wasn't just the American missionaries who did this. God's family is growing and maturing here and I'm so proud to be a part of it.

We spent two hours together that morning. On the way home I mentioned to one of our brothers that doing something like that is more physically and mentally draining on me than running a marathon. My brother said, "You mean that wasn't a marathon?" If you've confronted someone about a sin before then you completely understand the feeling.

Anyway, the meeting went as well as could be expected. I was so proud of my Brasilian brothers and the way they did everything in love. It was a tough conversation but it had to be done and my brothers showed the love of Jesus.

I got home and was completely wiped out. My girlfriend asked how it went and I told her I would share more later but right then I just wanted to chill out.

I went back to our bed and just laid down and watched a soccer game that I, honestly, wasn't that interested in. I just needed some time to decompress from the heaviness of the previous 2 hours.

I realized later that my girlfriend didn't come back into our room and that she had kept the kids out as well. That time alone was exactly what I needed to allow God to take the weight off me and clear my mind. I came out an hour or two later and was ready for the rest of the day. I could do that so quickly because of my girlfriend.

It didn't really hit me what she had done until the next day. I thanked her for taking care of me. That's one of the things I love about her, she does things like that and never says anything about it. She took care of me because we are "two" together!

The longer we live here and do what God has asked us to do the more I realize the importance of Jesus sending his disciples out two by two. He knew how discouraging it could be for them to do His work.

He also knew that doing the right things, at times, can be a heavy thing.

We all need encouragers. Someone to take care of us and to spur us on as we follow God's plan for our lives.

My girlfriend is my best friend and encourager. I could not be more blessed to be "two" with her.

My prayer is that you have a partner to share God's work with as well. That you've been blessed with an encourager.

That God has blessed you in being "two" with someone.

Monday, November 19, 2012

To Grandmommy..........from Carys

Dear Grandmommy,

Do you remember when we watched this commercial together?

I remember when you turned it to the channel just so you could show me.

I love you and miss you.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Crazy Idea?

My family consisted of me, two sisters and a brother. We were siblings because we came from the same family. I'm sure there were times when they did not want to call me their brother, but they didn't have a choice. Nor do we. When I see someone calling God Father and Jesus Savior, I meet a brother or sister--regardless of the name of their church or their denomination. 

What would happen--I know this is a crazy thought--but what would happen if all the churches agreed, on a given day, to change their names to simply "church?" What if reference to any denomination were removed and we were all just Christians? Then we Christians wouldn't be known for what divides us; instead we'd be known for what unites us--our common Father. 

Crazy idea? Perhaps. But I think God would like it. It was His to begin with. 

"Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other, which will bring glory to God." Romans 15:7

Max Lucado

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Ever heard of Zlatan Ibrahimovic? We love watching him play.

If you don't follow soccer you probably have no idea who he is.

He's from Sweden and plays professionally for a team called PSG (in Paris).

Sweden played against England this week and won 4-2. Zlatan scored all four goals. He saved his best for last.

Here it is:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Anderson takes a futsal (indoor soccer) class on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. He loves it. His coach, Emerson, used to be a professional player for our favorite soccer team.

Emerson is super nice but he's tough on the kids when he needs to be. He is a great coach who laughs and has fun during practice time. He makes the kids bring in their report cards so he can check them. He talks about respect for parents and teachers. If someone fights or swears during practice he kicks them out. He asks them on Tuesdays what vegetables they had for lunch that day. If they didn't eat any they don't get to kick penalty kicks at the end of practice (believe me, it's a big deal). He talks to all the parents and smiles all the time. You get the idea, we like him.

Last Thursday Anderson didn't go to practice because he went to a classmates birthday party instead.

On Friday Emerson called me to why Anderson missed practice.

After hearing my explanation Emerson said he had something else he wanted to tell me.

He told me that Anderson had been giving him a hard time because he had not been invited to play in a tournament in a while (if you know Anderson that would not surprise you that he went to his coach to share this complaint) so he was inviting Anderson to a game on Saturday.

Anderson was thrilled.

It was at a place about 20 minutes from our house and Anderson was super excited because it was an "official" game. Official because he had to take his Brasilian ID to be registered in this tournament.

Anderson played great. His team won 11-4 and he scored 2 goals.

A little side note about Anderson. He LOVES soccer (just like every other boy in Brasil) and he LOVES to think of how he will celebrate after he scores a goal.

This game was no different.

After both times that he scored he lifted up his shirt sleeve and kissed his upper arm.

We didn't get any game time pictures or video so I asked him to recreate it after we got home.
Why did he do that? Because he had written this on his arm.
That's right, it's my girlfriends name.

Tattoo's are big in Brasil. Really big and especially with players. They usually have their wives names, girlfriends names or kids names on their arms and sometimes they kiss the names after they score. So, since he's a player in a soccer game and his celebrations are always well thought out before, he was ready with his tattoo.

If he does become a pro player some day it would not surprise me at all if he put a real tattoo on his arm  to celebrate. And it also would not surprise me if he had a tattoo of my girlfriends name. And we'd like that just fine.

Especially this girl.

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Often that which you imagine to be so terrible and unbearable is not so bad when it actually happens. Your imagination makes things harder on you than God ever could. You want to know the future and you also exaggerate your suffering. Sometimes you become overwhelmed by events that have not yet happened. All moments are in God's hands. Walk humbly with God."


Sunday, November 11, 2012


One year ago today Garrett and Carys shared with the world their faith in Jesus.

We had just gotten back to the states for our every 2 year visit. They had actually made this decision back home in Brasil but wanted to wait until they got to their grandparents house.

They both wanted to be baptized just with their immediate family there.

B even got to participate via skype.

Everyone got a chance to share before the baptisms and then their grandparents blessed them with bibles on their special day.

My girlfriend and I were blessed to baptize Garrett.

We've also been blessed to baptize B, Ans and Anderson.

Carys asked my parents to baptize her. We thought that was very cool and a great honor for my parents.

After the baptisms, as you might expect from our family, the little guys then enjoyed the tub.

Then we all got together for pictures to remember the day.

It was a very cool day and something none of us will forget!