Luke 2:10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Transitioning Kids (Part 1: The Youngest of the Bunch)

By far, the questions we receive most often regard how the children are adjusting.  So I thought I would write a little blog post on each child and how they're adjusting to our move. 

So Jude is our youngest.  After four daughters, he was our first son.  He is such a smart, spunky and spoiled little boy.  The girls (and maybe mama) have doted on him since the day he came home and like the others, he changed our lives when he joined our family.

I adore him.  He snuggles up in our bed (even when we really would like him to stay in his own at times) and says things like, "you're my best friend, mommy" and "I'm your boy, right?"  He melts my heart.

He also has a lot of energy.  He is non-stop.  I am pretty sure I have acquired many wrinkles since he became mobile.  This boy procures more bumps and boo-boos than any child I know.

Jude has been such a trooper during this transition to Guatemala.  The boys and I usually pick the girls up from school.  I wear Joseph on my back which means Jude has to walk.  Typically we make a few stops so our walk probably totals 5 miles.  His little legs keep up the entire time!  Occasionally as we head towards home, he will shed a few tears of exhaustion but as soon as we see the guards at the gate he says, "will they gun me down if they see me crying?"  Oh no, sweet boy, these wonderful men protect us!  Although we reassure him of their kindness, this is his first experience with guns so it leaves a visual impact he can't seem to shake.  ;) 

Two days ago the boys and I had time between an errand and picking the girls up from school.  I took the boys to Pollo Campero (closest thing to CFA we have here) to let the boys play in the kids' area.  Between awkwardly ordering food in my horrible Spanish and Joseph knocking over the entire table, we had a memorable time!  These special times alone are a treasure. 

I anticipate Jude will have the most laid back personality ever.  He's a bundle of pizazz right now but he has had to learn flexibility from a young age.  Since his birth, he has moved 8 times, welcomed a brother (same age) into the family and now he walks the streets of Antigua daily with Guatemalans rubbing his head!  (Apparently if you rub a blonde haired child, you will have good luck?)  I assure myself all these changes will make him a strong adult.   Please, Lord, let that be truth. 

A few pics of my sweet boy:


Where in the world is Jude?  Hiding in a wardrobe, of course.

Sweet boy at Pollo Campero with Mommy and Joseph.

Jude loves to play outside and get dirty.

Okay, I will humble humiliate myself and post a picture of my backside to show how cute this little boy is when he walks around town.

A friend told us about a local hotel who hosts a clown on the weekends.  Jude was a darling, sitting on the edge of his seat watching the clown's antics.

Shopping in Guatemala City with a pit stop at the merry go 'round.  Thanks to Mrs. Nancy for taking us!

 Sweet boy at the end of the day.  Out of the shower and asleep in minutes.



Always thankful,
Susie


**  This blog was typed at least 3 weeks ago but I am just now getting around to publishing it.  Since then we have moved to our new home, Jude has had his long locks chopped off and we are praying to have internet in our home soon.  More blog posts to come!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Building Homes, Loving People

On Monday, a family of 8 went from living with another family to having their own home. "Before & After" pics of the family's homestead below. Now they have a place to call home with clean water.  This is life changing, people.  The team from Wisconsin/Texas was awesome!



Plot of land, before the house went up


Working inside, adding the roof


Talking with the family, very grateful hearts


Short term team members are incredibly helpful


Finished house, lives changed forever

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Here, There, Everywhere

We moved a few days ago.  Left our cute little three bedroom townhouse to live in a two bedroom apartment for the next 8 days.  It's so adorable and everything has a place but we look forward to living in our more permanent home very soon.  We have been pleased with each place and have met some really neat people.  We have a really kind Italian friend who provides us with our Kombucha, a family who is moving back to their homeland of France who sold us their Christmas tree, and most of all, our guards who always greet us with a smile and give us our daily Spanish lesson!  Thankfully we live just one block over so we can still see them until we move across town next week! 

Moving - how did we accumulate all of this in one month?!



Saturday morning we trekked to El Mercado.  What a feat it is with a double stroller!  I need to take pictures next time.  The El Poco in the back of the market is larger on Saturdays and you can find just about anything.  My favorite special was a HUGE handmade basket which I plan to keep the boys' toys in.  It cost less than $3!

My new basket.  It's even bigger than it looks in this picture!



This isn't a very exciting update but we will blog again soon!  It's a joy to see everyone's back to school (public, private and homeschool) pictures on Facebook.  Miss you!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

First Three Days of School

It's hard to believe these four special ladies started school this week.  Major milestone for all of us.






Sophie Rose:  


1.  Tell me about the best part of the school day:  Snack and recess.

2.  What was the hardest thing you had to do all week:  First day of school.  I didn't know what to expect.

3.  What are some names of your classmates:  Damaris and Douglas and Otto and Edgar and Amanda

4.  What did you learn to say in Spanish this week:  Oh so much.  The kids who know only Spanish will write words or phrases down on a piece of paper for me.  Then the kids who know a little English will translate it for me.

5.  What surprised you about school:  All the kids want to get to know me!  It's really fun.  I am sure it's just because I am different right now but I like it.

6.  What do you want to be when you grow up:  Occupational Therapist



Annabelle Joy:


1.  Tell me about the best part of the school day:  I like recess.  I played basketball with some other girls.

2.  What was the hardest thing you had to do all week:  I have to complete a 10 page essay due next week.  It's on the independence of America.

3.  What are some names of your classmates:  Nicole, Ana, Fatima, Michelle

4.  What did you learn to say in Spanish this week:  Verdan which means true and tarde which means late.

5.  What was something funny that happened:  One of the boys was pretending he was flying in front of the fan.  It was pretty funny.

6.  What do you miss about being at home during the school day:  Going to the bathroom whenever I need to!  Also, I have to ask the teacher for toilet paper and then she takes some pieces off and gives it to me.  Kinda gross.

7.  What do you want to be when you grow up:  Lawyer


Ava Mae:


1.  Tell me about the best part of the school day:  Making friends!

2.  What was the hardest thing you had to do all week:  Today I had to write a story that was 8 sentences long.  I wrote about a firefighter.

3.  What are some names of your classmates:  Lia and a bunch of other girls.

4.  What did you learn to say in Spanish this week:  Tranquila.  It means calm down in Spanish.  My friends say it when I am running around!  (Mama's reaction:  Sigh.)

5.  What was something funny that happened:  Nothing funny happened really but there are just really funny kids at my school.

6.  What do you miss about being at home during the school day:  You.  (Mama's reaction:  warms my heart!)

7.  What do you want to be when you grow up:  I want to work in a restaurant.  Maybe I'll be a waitress and serve food.


Pearl Elizabeth:


1.  Tell me about the best part of the school day:  Coloring!

2.  What was the hardest thing you had to do all week:  Probably math.  They are doing times tables.

3.  What are some names of your classmates:  Tasha and Ana.

4.  What did you learn to say in Spanish this week:  Papa and Mama.

5.  What was something funny that happened:  A boy kept tapping me for no reason and he kept saying, "Pearl, Pearl, Pearl."

6.  What do you like about your teacher:  She is nice and she got Annabelle out of class because she had my lunch in her backpack.

7.  What do you want to be when you grow up:  I want to be a preschool teacher. 



Love these girls.

Love the boys, too.

Joseph and Jude have been MAJOR troopers.  Jude has missed nap time and walked at least 4 miles each day to the girls' school and back.  His little legs are moving super fast which is quite adorable.  I am pretty sure Joseph misses his BFF (Sophie) and all the quality time she spends with him.

So very thankful.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hit the ground running...


One week after arriving here, we had a huge order to fill.  10 homes to prefabricate.  Here are some pictures of the process.  Sophie and Annabelle even got to help out as well.  What a privilege it is to serve!
Week 1 (7/28-8/1)






Monday of Week 2 (8/4/13)