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

Monday, April 29, 2013


Hey girls,

We won yesterday 1-0. The goal was scored by my new favorite player, Willians. He took Guiñazú's spot.

Check out the first move to get free and then his GOLAÇO!

The championship game is this weekend.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Birthday Girl

Today we celebrate another family birthday as we have one more child leaving the teenage years. You know how we do it. 

Here we go: 

Giovanni: "Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles and Happy Birthday! I don't want to tell her anymore. Just that!"

Anderson: "Ansley, I love you SOOO much! Happy Birthday! FISH FISH   ROCK ROCK  JELLYFISH ELECTRIC SHOCK SHOCK!! You are my best friend!  (By the way leni says "Eu mando um abraçaço de feliz aniversário."

Carys: "Ans i love you so much and i know that pretty soon i won't be able to see you anymore because you are going to get married pretty soon or at least have like 49 boyfriends and you won't even want to talk to me anymore but i still love you so much and i want you to have an awesome birthday and i cant wait to see you at bronwyn's wedding I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.

Garrett: "Anssss you are 20?? wow.. Happy Bday!! I miss you so much! Keep on having fun at college, and keep on making the boys crazy with your awesomeness and beautifulness. I cant wait to see you at bronwyn's wedding!! We are gonna have so much fun! You are the best ever (thats all I can say..)!! I love you and miss you!! I hope you have a great day! adios"

B: "Hey Adwee!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! You are 20. Which is super old. And weird. I am so glad that you decided to come to ACU because now I get to see you so much! You are so sweet and goofy, and all of your friends think that you're the best thing ever. I'm so excited that you get to go to Ecuador this summer and see all of your little kids! That will be so much fun  I love you so much, and I hope you have an awesome day!!!!"

Stephen: "Ans, I feel like I have known you forever! It has been such a blessing to know you the past few years and I'm so glad you chose ACU!!! It has been really cool for me to be able to spend so much time with you and watch you have so much fun in college. I could not be more excited about having you as a sister. Thank you for being so fun and funny and caring. People are attracted to you because of the way you live your life. You teach me a lot. You are a huuugggee blessing in my life, and I love the relationship I already have with you. I love you! Have a happy TWO OH."

Mom: "Dear Ansley, I hope your day is really special.  I wish we could be there with  you, but I am so happy that you are at ACU and loving it.  I love our talks on the phone and I am so proud of who you are and what God is doing through you.  You have a million gifts and most importantly, you know how to use those gifts to bless other people.  I'm so glad you don't deny who you are anymore - wishing you were different - but just embrace all the specialness God has placed in YOU and are willing to share all that goodness with others. I can't wait til you get here this summer because I need some good laughs.  And we all know that no one makes me laugh like you do.  I love you!!!"

Me: "I can't believe 20 years has passed so fast! I've loved watching you grow up. I've loved watching you go from a little girl scared, full of doubts and lacking self confidence to a young woman who is adventurous and confident in the Lord. I love that you are learning to be confident in your own skin. You are learning to embrace the gifts that God has given you, and He's given you many gifts. I love your laugh. It's contagious (tied with Carys for my all time favorite). I love that people are just naturally drawn towards you because of your personality. God gave you that personality and His kingdom will grow through it. I love that you are learning to be fully plugged into the Spirit and to go where He tells you to go without question and without fear of changing plans when He tells you to do so. Keep living like that and you'll never be stuck in your faith walk. So many things I love about you but one thing I've left out, I love being your dad! Hope you have a great day and have lots of fun! Wish we could be there with you to celebrate!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Set your eyes on God and you will feel less of a need to please others. The wonderful thing is that you may end up pleasing them more.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Test Time


Thought you might be missing your high school English classes. So today's post is part of a test that Garrett took in his English class recently.

It should be easy for you two veterans.

The first part of his test had ten mini phrases. He had to write the opposites of each one.

He only got seven out of ten correct. We were a little concerned with that score until we saw the phrases.

See if you guys can beat seventy per cent. Remember to think of the opposite of each one.

Here you go:

1. A cosy bed
2. A dry basement
3. Bitter coffee
4. A smart shirt
5. A low sound
6. A light meal
7. A tasty hamburger
8. A mild dish
9. A sour pineapple
10. Spicy food

Give us your answers and we'll let you know if you did better than Garrett.

Just in case there is a tie here is your tiebreaker. Correct either one of these sentences:

1. Wow.....your chicken lasagna tastes like deliciously. 

2. She's got such long nails, they look claws. 

Good luck students!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New Favorite


Here is your mom's new favorite commercial. It makes her laugh.

Check out the bits of POA in it.


Monday, April 15, 2013

For the Girls

Three weeks from today my girlfriend and Anderson arrive in the states for Bronwyn and Stephen's wedding. The week after that me and Gi arrive and a few days later Garrett and Carys get there.

We'll get to be together as a complete family for a few days which, as all the dorks get older, gets harder and harder. It's part of life and we love seeing how God is moving in the lives of our kids but we love getting everyone together. We are big and loud and like to laugh.

As I thought about our family all being together soon it made me realize that the girls are in the home stretch of finishing out another semester of college. I thought about stuff they've missed here with their younger brothers and sister during this semester.

So I thought I'd just bomb them with family stuff until we are all together again. The bombing begins today.

My apologies to those of you who will be completely bored over these next few days.

Here we go girls:

You guys know that Anderson is creative. He had homework over the weekend. His teacher asked him to make up a mini model of his bedroom. He and mom tapped into that creativity yesterday. They nailed it.

He wanted to give you guys a tour. Here it is:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Brennan Manning (1934-2013)

My dad loves to keep us stocked with good books. He mails them to us. He gives them to us for birthdays and for Christmas presents. He blesses us with them all the time and we love it. 

A few years ago he turned me on to one of his favorite authors. His name was Brennan Manning. 

I had never heard of him but he quickly became one of my favorites as well. My girlfriend recently began reading some of his books. 

He had an amazing life story and he was never shy about sharing it. Warts and all. Because in that life story, many times ugly and uncomfortable, he came to know the love of God and understand his grace. He didn't "play church." He was real and that made many people, even Christians, uncomfortable. Some even shunned him because of his honesty. That never stopped him from sharing what God was doing in his life.

Brennan Manning was a person who, like all of us, had many flaws. He would be the first to tell you how great a sinner he was but he never doubted the love of God and His unending grace and forgiveness. 

My girlfriend found out this morning that he passed away on Friday. 

He's with his Abba Father now and, if there is ice cream in heaven, I'm sure he's sharing a cone with someone. 

Here is one of my all time favorite quotes by our brother:

"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." 

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Apologies to Grandmommy

Dear Grandmommy,

I came into the kitchen the other day and guess what I found in the trash?
I couldn't believe it so I had to take another look.
That's right. It was Psalty.
As you can imagine, I was truly appalled but then I realized that the DVD had been missing for a while (I had nothing to do with that) so it was time to throw the empty case away.

Benay seemed to be the only one who was sad to see him go. She didn't, however, have tears in her eyes. I did. Tears of joy.

He lived a long time in this house and I wanted to let you know that somehow, in some way, you will pay for that.

Goodbye Psalty!

Monday, April 08, 2013

Our House Church

I wanted to share a little about why I love house church. What I share today has everything to do with what happened yesterday.

If you've followed this blog for a while you may remember about a brother named André. I shared a little bit about him on a couple of posts from last year. You can click here to read one of them.

André is a recovering drug addict. Crack cocaine is the main drug that is his addiction.

Last year he left the Christian drug and alcohol rehab center that our house church family supports. He wasn't ready to leave but he was tired of the discipline that's involved there and so he chose to leave.

He quickly found himself using drugs again. Our brother Elinton got him a job, André didn't show up. We looked for him a place to live. He wasn't interested.

Believe it or not, some people choose the life on the streets. André had lived many years on the streets and he was, once again, choosing to live there.

Yesterday we arrived at Cledi's (Elinton's mom) house for our worship. As we walked up the stairs to her house I heard my girlfriend greet someone. I couldn't see who it was but I could tell in her voice that it was someone she knew and was a little surprised to see. I got to the top of the stairs and saw André. He looked rough. Very rough. It was obvious that he was using crack again.

Cledi has a little balcony with a table that overlooks her neighborhood. She fixed André some bread with jelly and coffee. Elinton, Paulo Renato and myself all went out and spend time with André. He admitted he was using crack again. I didn't grow up around any drug addicts or alcoholics (at least none that I know about) so my life around people addicted is limited to less than 10 years but my brothers have taught me what a person addicted to crack looks like. André is definitely addicted. We asked him point blank what he was using. He shared that he was living on the streets again and was using everything which typically means crack, alcohol and cigarettes.

When I'm around men with drug/alcohol addictions and men who are recovering (they never allow me to say "recovered" because they remind me it will be a life long fight) from drug and alcohol addictions I sit quietly and listen. The recovering men are so wise and have so much more experience than I do that I just zip it. They have such wisdom in their counsel. I share occasionally when I feel the Spirit asking me to do so but, honestly, it's not very much. I just sit and listen to the wisdom that comes out of the mouths of my brothers and how they deal with their brothers that need help. They do everything in love. Sometimes it's tough love but it's always in love,

Yesterday I, once again, sat amazed at how Elinton and Paulo Renato dealt with André. They want to see him healed of his addictions but they don't sugar coat anything. Elinton and Paulo know about addictions. They know about recovery. They know about falling. They know about God's love and grace and they know they have a church family that loves them no matter what.

An addict makes excuses. And lots of them. André told us yesterday that he wanted to be off the streets. That he wanted help. But he then said why he couldn't go to a certain recovery place again. He told us why he left another other place and why he wouldn't go back there either. How he didn't do well when he was disciplined. How he couldn't accept being disciplined for not accepting a "silly rule" at the recovery center.

Paulo looked him in the eyes and said, "I would accept that discipline." Elinton nodded his head in agreement. Elinton then said if he were at a recovery center and the director told him to do something simple, like pick up a napkin, and it seemed stupid to him he would still do it because he was the one reaching out to the director for help. It's the directors house and you must follow his rules. You must humble yourself. Paulo reminded him that you always have beans and rice on your plate at a recovery center. You don't eat whatever you can find like you do on the streets and that alone is a good reason to be humble, to be thankful. But these recovery places do much more than put food on your place and give you a place to sleep. They teach you about God's love. They teach you that there is a better way to live. We want that for André but, more importantly, he has to want it for himself.

André put up a fight at the beginning. Lots of excuses. Not much humility. My brothers kept talking to him. He started to listen. Elinton then suggested we go worship together and we would work on a plan of action after our praise time.

We went back in with the rest of the group. Another reason I love house church. Everything stopped when André arrived. Our house church worship time was pushed back, and would've been cancelled if necessary, because we had a brother with an immediate need. We realized he was more important than starting a worship time at a certain hour. And no one complained or looked at their watch.

We sang, read and prayed with André seated right in the middle of me and Elinton.

Elinton prayed for the Lord's Supper. He and I passed around the bread and juice. Something you need to know about our house church family. We believe the Lord's Supper is for everyone. We include everyone that participates with us. Everyone. How do you think that made André feel yesterday? To be fully included with our church family. I know how I would feel if it were me and a group treated me like that.

I was then blessed to follow Elinton out to the balcony where Anderson and Gi were hanging out together. I watched my brother, a recovering addict, kneel down and get on eye level with my boys and smile as he served them the bread of the Lord's Supper. I watched how he loved on them. I watched him be family, real family, to my children. And my heart jumped.

We ended our worship time with people encouraging André. We want him to know that he has a real family ready to help but he must want to help himself. This is the 4th or 5th time he has fallen and we aren't leaving his side. We wanted him to know that. We also wanted him to know that this time needs to be different. He needs to be different and want a life change and not just a temporary recovery. Getting fed, getting stronger, getting a bed for a few months before going back, once again, to the life on the streets.

Paulo and Elinton spoke some more from their experiences. My girlfriend encouraged him from the Word.

We then set André in a chair and prayed over him. Paulo first and then my girlfriend. They prayed for a healing. They prayed for demonic liberation. We loved on our brother.

We have no idea what will happen with André this time. I pray this will be the last time he will ever have to go into a recovery center. That he allows the Spirit to overwhelm him. That he becomes a mighty testimony to God's power.

As we drove home from Cledi's house my girlfriend looked at me and said, "Wow. That would never have happened in a traditional church setting." She's right.

I remember seeing a video a few years ago about house church. About how it can instantly morph into a hospital, a worship place, a place to deal with emotional problems, a place to immediately bless people with your tithe, a place to be real. I like being a part of a group like that. No committees. No meetings. If someone  has a need right now we figure out a way to bless them right now.

We aren't perfect but there are a few things I can promise you. If you visit our group you will hear about real life and life's problems. We are learning together what real church is and it doesn't involve "playing church." Where you say everything is good when asked but in reality your world is crumbling.

If you are around our group for very long you will also hear how God takes care of our daily needs from people who trust in God one day at a time. It isn't just lip service. Most every family in our house church family doesn't know how they will pay all their bills from day to day. That can be a stressful thing but I don't hear complaining, just praising when God, once again, comes through and provides.

One more thing I can promise you if you visit our church family, you will be loved. Loved and not judged.

I'm so thankful that God has allowed my family to be a part of a real family. We receive many more blessings than we could ever give. 

Friday, April 05, 2013

FC Bayern Youth Cup Brazil

Over the years most of the teenagers in our house have objected to me putting anything on the blog about them. Seems their friends have found out about the blog and check it from time to time. Nothing more embarrassing than your dad putting some picture of you on a blog from when you were a five year old.

Over the years I will still post stuff on the teenagers in our house for various reasons. Mainly because I am proud of them.

This is a proud post.

If you know anything about Garrett you know that he LOVES soccer. He knows everything about it and LOVES to play it.

Since he was about seven or eight years old he wanted to be a professional soccer player. That is still what he wants to do.

We've prayed a lot about this over the years. For doors to be open. For that world to be Garrett's mission field. For Garrett to realize, if God blesses him with pro contracts, that soccer is what he does, it isn't who he is. It's amazing how many people here put soccer as the number one important thing in their lives. We've, me and Garrett, talked a lot about not making soccer his god.

We happen to live in what is probably the most soccer mad country in the world. Almost every kid wants to be a professional soccer player.

Garrett has played in a few different soccer schools over the years. He has been asked to move positions a couple of times. He doesn't complain. He has had some disappointments along the way. Things that God has used to build his character. Things you would rather not have happen but you always see, usually on the other side, how God worked through that and how He made you stronger.

Garrett had a couple of things like that happen to him last year. This year started off a little rough for him as well.

But he keeps showing up and he keeps playing hard and God keeps working on him.

We tell him to keep hanging in there, keep training, keep playing hard, etc. and we'll see where God leads him.

A couple of weeks ago Garrett played in a tournament. He had been practicing for the tournament at his school. It was a different team than the one he normally plays on. It was for boys 16 and under. Garrett just barely made the cut off.

He practiced and told us about the tournament but he didn't say much about it. That didn't surprise us because he's never been one to toot his own horn. He's a very humble kid.

He had to make the team to even get a chance to play in the tournament. He did.

A couple of days before the tournament my girlfriend ran into the mom of one of the other boys that made the team.

She began to tell us how big of a deal this tournament is. That 10 players will be selected, after the tournament, to go play in the national tournament in São Paulo in April. That the winner of that tournament will go to Germany in June to play in the finals against a German team.

This tournament is sponsored by FC Bayern. One of the biggest and best soccer clubs in the world. It's also sponsored by Audi and Allianz. Both giant German companies.

We found out that scouts from FC Bayern would be at the tournaments.

Garrett had said nothing about this to us before. He didn't make a big deal about any of it.

He didn't want us at the tournament because he thought it might make him nervous. That was okay.

We had 10 different things to do during that day so it worked out good. We weren't sitting around waiting to hear from him.

That morning I remember asking God to just give Garrett some good news. Just a little breakthrough to boost his confidence. Just some good news after such a tough last 6 months. A simple prayer but that was what I wanted with all my heart for my son. A little good news.

That morning I talked with him a little bit, as we normally do before a game, to just try to encourage him. I said about 10 words and just stopped. I could see something different in his eyes. He wasn't nervous. He had God's peace all over him. I didn't need to say anything else so I shut up and sent him on his way. He was ready.

He called about 5:30 the night of the tournament. We didn't get to the phone in time. We called him back but he didn't answer. So we waited.

We were in the kitchen when he got home about 10 minutes later. We heard the door shut. He walked around the corner and into the kitchen holding this:

He had an ear to ear smile and said, "I made it!" We went crazy.

His team played 5 games and they won the tournament. The final game was 3-2. His team was losing 2-0 but came back to tie it and then Garrett scored the winning goal.

After the games they selected 10 players, from all the teams, to go to São Paulo for the national championship.
A guy from Germany was the official person who called out the names of the 10 invited. Later Garrett told my girlfriend, "Mom, it was the coolest thing to hear my name called in a German accent. It was the best news I ever heard."

A little good news. Thank you God!

He told us he played better than he ever had before. He was doing things with the ball that he had never done before. He played with peace.

I've never seen him so happy as he later talked to his sisters and my dad on the phone about his day.

He was konked out on his bed at 7:00. Emotionally and physically spent.

So this afternoon he travels to São Paulo to play in the national tournament tomorrow. Everything is paid for. His airfare. His food. His hotel. Everything. He even gets to meet some ex FC Bayern players.

This is as close to being treated like a real pro as he's ever experienced.

He came home from school yesterday with a smirk on his face and asked if we wanted to see where they get to stay while in São Paulo. He then showed us the hotel. He couldn't believe he gets to stay in that place. And it's all free. It's called the Hotel Tryp Nações Unidas if you want to google it for yourself. It is a very cool place for a group of 16 year old soccer players.

This Youth Cup tournament also has a facebook page if you want to check it out. Just click here. 

We ask you to pray for him. Not that he wins MVP or that his team wins and gets to go to Germany. Would we like both of those things to happen? Of course. But we are learning to be thankful for the chances God gives us. And this is an awesome opportunity for Garrett. Not just because he will play in front of scouts that could like what they see and ask him to go to Germany to play, although that would be cool, but because God continues to mold him through all experiences into being the man He wants our son to be. The tough times have helped shape Garrett. He's learned and grown through his bit of soccer suffering. Even if everything goes right this weekend and they go to Germany God will teach him lessons through the good times as well. I like the man I'm seeing my son become.

My prayer? For safety for Garrett, his team and coaches and that Garrett can play with the same peace tomorrow that he played with two weeks ago. That he is so full of the Holy Spirit, the presence of God that, no matter what, he will leave São Paulo grateful for the opportunity God gave him.

Please feel free to pray with us.
Whatever happens this is going to be cool and something he, and we, won't ever forget!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Birthday Boy

Today is Anderson's birthday. 

Here we go: 

Giovanni: "I want you to get those Brasil toys on tv. Not at the grocery store. And get the Inter stadium against gremio and Inter, those toys, for your birthday. Happy Birthday!"

Carys: "Anderson i know we fight sometimes but i just want you to know that i love you soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much you are the coolest little brother ever (don't tell Squigs...) i hope you have the best birthday party ever and the best birthday and the best presents and the best everything!!!!"

Garrett: "Hey candy pants... HAPPY BDAY! You are so so so awesome, funny and a super great soccer player! I cant wait to see you on TV playing soccer for S.C. INTERNACIONAL and then on the Selecaaaaaaao do Brasiiil!! I hope you have an awesome day because you deserve it!! I love you so much! YO ARE FLIPPIN COOL BRO!"

Ansley: "Anderson, first let me just start out by saying... FISH FISH, ROCK ROCK, JELLYFISH ELECTRIC SHOCK SHOCK!!!!! I hope you have the BEST BIRTHDAY OF YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. Thank you for always making me love life and for being so happy and content all the time. You are so close to God and I love it because it makes me want to be close to Him as well. I miss you SO MUCH! I cannot wait to see you in like six weeks.... AAAHNBJXOAUOSDIH*EY(*EYQIOHDXOISJA)S(UC()EUE#*EUI#EHQOEI@U#)(E@&UYHUIHSXLASXJIOH (dolphin noises) JOISJCXNS(A*U)(UHOASLKD (gorillas screaming) HMBIAHSDOIAHSD(WHIUHBKJXCOIH (fireworks)H HAUSHA)DPOAS JNXHASID. That is how excited I am right now for you and because I get to see you soon!!!!!!! LOVE YOU!! YOU ARE THE BEST!!"

Bronwyn: "Anderson!!! Happy birthday dude! I am so glad that I get to have you as a little brother  You are so sweet to everyone, you always try to make people happy, you LOVE playing with people, you love God a whole lot, you're the best soccer player ever (don't let Garrett tell you he's better), and you're pretty much the most awesome person in the whole world. I am SO excited to see you soon, and that you get to come early and hang out with me! I love you so much and I hope your birthday is AWESOME!!!! Love you!!!"

Stephen: "Dear Anderson, Please get here to the states soon so that we can have a club. Seriously, it needs to happen. Basically, you are the coolest 9 year old ever. Don't get cocky, but it's true. You are thoughtful and selfless way beyond your years, and you teach me a lot about the right way to live. Thanks for who you are! I love you brother, Happy Birthday."

Girlfriend:  "Anderson, you are the biggest surprise I've ever gotten in my life!  And one of the best ones, too.  God blessed our family when you were born.  You have always been so cute and sweet and easy to get along with. You wake up happy every day.  I love your hugs and kisses and your blue eyes.  You are so handsome!  I love that you love the Lord and He has blessed you with an understanding and knowledge of Him that many adults don't ever have.  I pray that you will just keep loving the Lord and growing to be stronger and stronger every day.  Thank you for all the joy and happiness you bring to me and to our family.  I love you so much and I love being your mom! "

Me: "Anderson, I can't believe that you are nine! You are one of the best surprises God has ever given this family. I love how you wake up happy every day. EVERY DAY! That is totally amazing. I don't know, and have never known, anyone else who wakes up happy every day. I love how much you love the Lord. I love how you love to study the Bible on your own. I love to listen to you pray. You just talk to your dad. That's the way it's supposed to be but not very many people pray that way. The Holy Spirit speaks to you in a strong way. I/we listen when you talk about spiritual things because you teach us a lot. You teach me a bunch about being a Christian. Thank you! I love how you tell your friends about Jesus. You aren't afraid. I love the new dream you have of going to play pro soccer in Iran just so you can tell the people there how much Jesus loves them. You know about Iran and Christians and you want to go anyway. There aren't many adult Christians that I know that think like that. I love it when you say that you want to go on an adventure for Jesus. I love how much you love your family. How you cry when you have to tell your sisters bye at the airport when they go back to college and how you run and bear hug them when they come home. I love how you try to do what's right and you immediately say you're sorry when you've done something wrong. I love our talk time together. I love our soccer Saturday/Sundays together. You are a great big and little brother. I'm so glad that God blessed our family with you! I love you bro!"

Happy Birthday Anderson! We love you!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Easter-Day Two

Last Friday my girlfriend said, "I would really like to get out of town this weekend and do something together as a family."

Sounded good and I was all for it but, for various reasons, our out of town options were limited. 

That night the dad of Anderson's best friend, Lucas, brought him home. Anderson had been at Lucas' house all day. When his dad, Vitor, dropped him off he asked if we would want to hang out with them the next day at his parents beach house. 

Don't you love it when God surprises you with an answer to your prayers so quickly? 

The next day we made the, a little under 2 hour, trip to a small town called Xangri-lá. Google says it has about 12,000 residents. It's mainly a summer home vacation type place for the people from our city.

As soon as we got there Vitor, my girlfriend, Gi, Anderson, Lucas and myself all went to check out the beach. The wind was blowing hard. So hard that Gi bailed after 5 minutes and went back home. 

Vitor and I stayed with Lucas and Anderson. We took some pictures.

The boys were soon in the water goofing around.
Vitor told them they could take off their shirts. They had them off and were in the water in about 5 seconds. They had a ball.
We thought, since we are in our fall now and have had some cooler days and nights, that the water would be cold. It was actually warmer than being out of the water. Even though the water was warmer than we thought you'll notice that there were no other people in the water other than our 2 goofballs. 
We left the beach, went back to the house and ate lunch together. We loved getting to know Vitor's parents better. 

The kids then colored Easter eggs using the kit we got just two days earlier in the mail from my mom. What great timing.
 They had a lot of fun.
Check out this old hair dryer that Carys used to shrink wrap a design on her egg. 
Carys had to almost touch the egg for it to work because it didn't get very hot. I don't think I've ever seen a hair dryer like that. It was definitely old school but it did the job.
Lucas and Anderson played soccer. A lot. 

When they weren't playing soccer Anderson was learning how to ride a bike.
Lucas, Anderson and Gi played soccer together. A lot.
Gi made a new friend.
Lucas has a sister, Alice, who is Carys' age. They too are in the same class and are good friends. So Carys had lots of fun as well. It wasn't just boys and soccer for her all day. 
We ate supper and then our family came back home to POA. 

We had an amazing time together and getting out of the big city for the day was just what we needed. 

I think we all needed it. Vitor's mom said she couldn't remember the last time she heard Vitor laugh so loud and hard like he did on Saturday. 

We first met Vitor and Alexia back in 2007 when Anderson and Lucas started pre-school together. They've been best friends ever since and we've been blessed by our friendship with Vitor and Alexia. 

Good food, lots of fun and laughing as well as plenty of relaxing. It was the best Easter Saturday that we could've had.
Here are some video highlights of the day that probably only big sisters, and grandparents, will care to spend time watching.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Easter-Day One

We wanted to share, over the next couple of days, about our Easter weekend. We realize that some of what we share will only be interesting to a couple of college kids in Texas. You've been warned.

Our house church family decided to have our worship on Good Friday last week instead of on Sunday so that people could enjoy Sunday with their families. I liked their decision.

Everyone was invited to our house.

My girlfriend did a lot of research about the Passover meal and then prepared the meal, as best she could with the ingredients we had, and we all shared in the meal together.
We learned what things meant and why they were done.

We read from scripture.
We sang.

We prayed.

Everyone was involved. Especially the kids. Just like the real Passover meal. I loved that.
It was a very cool thing to be a part of and everyone enjoyed and learned from out time together.

For years my girlfriend has said she would love to be a Jewish Christian. She loves the Jewish traditions and what they mean. She, as always, did a great job of sharing God's word with everyone. I was talking later that night to Garrett about how she is the best bible teacher I've ever known. He looked me in the eyes and said, "Yes, she is." High praise from a 16 year old. I love how she uses her gifts for the Lord. When she does it brings her and everyone around her great joy. God made her a teacher. She teaches.

Friday night my girlfriend did what God made her to do. She humbly taught from His word. And as we worshipped and celebrated as God's family we were all, for a two hour period, Jewish Christians. And it was the most meaningful thing we could have done on sexta-feira santa.