Sunday, September 30, 2007


A holy hush had descended on our neighborhood this Sunday morning after last night's rock band blared on into the wee hours just up the street from our house. No matter there is a 10 p.m. silence law, no matter their music is LOUD and travels through the air waves into our bedroom even with all the windows shut, No matter they just might be bothering the entire neighborhood. You know the line, "It's my party, and I can do what I want to..." Fortunately, these loud parties are rare occurrences, and usually the neighbors bite the bullet and don't call the cops. Maybe that's why the neighbors were quieter than usual this morning...But it was a glorious morning--the kind you want to last forever--the kind you wish your kids were there or someone called family--to share with you. The leaves on our ipê tree were luminous, the birds were singing and NO DOGS WERE BARKING. A rare moment indeed. Pat & I began to sing...(Remember this one? Such beautiful poetry.)

Morning has broken Like the first morning,
Blackbird has spoken Like the first bird.
Praise for the singing! Praise for the morning!
Praise for them springing Fresh from the Word!

Sweet the rain's new fall Sunlit from heaven,
Like the first dewfall On the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness Of the wet garden,
Sprung in completeness Where His feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight! Mine is the morning
Born of the one light Eden saw play!
Praise with elation, Praise every morning,
God's recreation Of the new day!
--Eleanor Farjeon


Today was such a beautiful, quiet morning that I decided to break through my conservative nature and get rash! Yes, I decided to use the dried blueberries I'd brought back from the USA in 2004 (Did I rush into this?) to make wild blueberry muffins for breakfast. You see, the fun part of having foodstuffs from the USA is to open your cupboard and see them on the shelf, to dream about when to use it, and to close the cupboard and open it another day and still see it there. If I used them up quickly, I wouldn't have that pleasure, and it's oh, such fun, to see something to eat from the USA! Making muffins for Sunday breakfast reminded me of when we lived at the seminary in Coronel Fabriciano. There came a time when we were tired of eating the same kind of bread every day for breakfast and wished for something different. So, on Sunday mornings I got up earlier than the family and whipped up a batch of muffins for our breakfast before Sunday School and church. And, to make it extra, extra special, we treated ourselves to real butter--just on this occasion--and we would eat on our porch that overlooked the seminary grounds. All that reminiscing has made me lonesome for my would be fun to have them for breakfast on Sunday morning again. Well, this is how my muffins turned out.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I had a chance to see my big bro & his wife last week. He flew "down" to Brazil on a missions trip and I rode a bus "up" to meet him. I translated for him one night and people said we looked alike, had the same voice intonation and used the same gestures! What can I say?

Friday, September 21, 2007


God made big sisters for several reasons—many good ones and a few not-so-good.

First of all, without needing to look it up, parents REMEMBER big sisters’ birth weight and height, the day they started drooling, or grabbed their big toe (thankfully, the rest of us have at least the weight and height part recorded in our baby books). And speaking of baby books, theirs are a work of art, filled with details of their development, each little syllable recorded for posterity, pictures galore of each new accomplishment, studio pictures even—taken by a professional—of big sister decked out with ribbons in her hair. Me? The odd time I had a studio picture taken, the night before my big brother took a scissors to one side of my head leaving me looking like a lop-sided ET.

God knew parents needed to try out their theories on some one about child raising. That meant big sisters got lots of SPANKINGS, heard “NO!” hundreds of times, and played in the confined space of a play pen. By the time I came along, my parents were tired and let me do what I wanted.

Parents also tend to be more protective of big sisters. Care is taken to sterilize, scrub and disinfect anything that baby might place in her mouth, but by the time I came along, I held my own bottle, ate food that had dropped on the floor, and was entrusted to the care of my big sister, who instead of feeding me my cereal, impatiently spooned it in a crack between the kitchen cupboards. (Now you know why they called me the Biafra Baby).

Big sisters are TAKEN to school, not sent. Mothers want to physically SEE that they are in the school building, need to be waiting to take them home when school is out. Years later that made it easy for me to walk across the field on my way home from school and ride with the neighbors without a twitch of anxiety on my Mom’s part.

Big sisters have to WORK HARD at being an example to the younger siblings. That way they get to do ALL the work while we watch.

Big sisters get to take baton twirling lessons, join Brownies, take figure skating, piano lessons and what-have-you lessons while we younger ones have to learn on our own.

Big sisters get NEW clothes while we have to wear their last year’s Easter dress.

Big sisters get to stay up later, get a BIGGER allowance, and hundreds of privileges reserved only for them. We’re lucky if father is still paying allowances when we get old enough to do simple math.

Big sisters get to CHOOSE the games we play and can use the power of their larger vocabulary and manipulative skills, plus their physical strength to get their way.

Big sisters get to drive a car FIRST, go on a date FIRST, and leave home FIRST.

But . . .

Big sisters also watch out for you when you’re feeling timid and afraid in the middle of a crowd of people.

Big sisters wash your hair, even though they lie about it turning the colors of a rainbow.

Big sisters let you play with their paper dolls after falling in the river.

Big sisters are fun to copy.

Big sisters let you play with their toys if you’re careful.

Big sisters cook your meals, wash the dishes, clean the house and iron your clothes.

Big sisters make one proud.

Big sisters model kindness, generosity, unselfishness and love.

Big sisters show by their life that if they can do it, you can, too.

Big sisters are people to look up to and emulate.

Big sisters love you and when you’re older become your best friend.

Happy Birthday to my big sis, Cathie!

Friday, September 14, 2007


This past Wednesday I did something scary--I tried a new hairdresser. ("Mine" moved away.) It went like this:
She: What would you like done today?
Me: I want to take off a little hair --when it gets long in the back it turns up like this, and with my hand I show her the turned-up ends.
She: It's too heavy...we'll just thin that out.
Me: But I don't want it so short my ears show...

She begins to snip, snip, snip (little snips, actually) and I, believing in her ability and intelligence, sit there--like a sheep before her shearers is dumb--watching her thin out my hair until there is no bounce left, discovering later that she changed the cut on me unawares. But at the present I'm hopeful that my fears are misplaced and the end result will still be beautiful. But as she blow-dries my hair, leaving the sides flat and lifeless, my hopes for a beauty miracle begin fast-fading away, and I am slowly dying looking at myself in the mirror wondering how I will go out that door and face the world... (baa! baa!)

She holds the mirror up for me to see the back. I try to be positive. Yes, it's nice. The hairs look neat and in place. She smiles kindly. I kindly smile back. (But I look awful... I berate myself for not questioning what she was doing, for not being more specific, for not taking the reins in my hands, but no! I am a dumb sheep...baa! baa! )

I, the eternal optimist, entered the beauty salon thinking I was going to make improvements, but I'm leaving, as I often do, disappointed. But the worst is, I paid money to look like this.


P.S. My hubby was traveling on my "hair day" and only arrived this morning. He said, "Your hair looks nice." I stifled the "baa" that was rising in my throat and said instead, "Really?" All of a sudden, life looked better.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Happy Independence Day, Brazil

We spent a relaxing few hours at a park on Brazil's Independence Day, Sept. 7th. The weather was perfect. See how young my husband is?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Why I looooove spring!

"The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand for ever." Isa.40:8

How I know spring is here!

1. It was 70º at 8:20 a.m.
2. Pat didn't wear soxs to bed last night.
3. The sun hit me smack in the eyes at the breakfast table.
4. The robins are singing love songs.
5. I washed and put away our flannel sheets.
6. There are splashes of pink azaleas all across town.
7. I allowed the sun's rays to touch my tender, sleeveless arms.
8. Our pink ipê tree is gloriously blooming!
9. I don't mind taking a shower.
10. Spring fever attacked me--I'm slightly giddy!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Will Emily be singing...

all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth? I think she hopes so cuz she's very happy to have lost a tooth and the second one is very wobbly!! Way to go, Emily, I love you!!!

Are messy desks a sign of great creativity?

I hope so because I have been unable to clear off the decks (if you know what I mean) for several weeks.


Eric is now 4 and his creative mommy Reesha knows how to throw a party. There were dinosaurs everywhere--among the candies scattered on the table, by the cake (you can see the volcano erupting!), in the sand box (where another kind of volcano is erupting--note the red lava spilling over the sides of the volcano). Even Eric tried on some dinosaur feet and tail...pretty cool kid! I love you, four-year-old!!!