Every time I get down, Brian tells me to read the Psalms. We are called to give thanks to God through everything! So, in lieu of a blog that’s full of discouragement, I thought I would use this time to remind myself of things I’m thankful for and/or blessed with at this time in my life. So here goes…

  • Of course, of course, of course, my beautiful baby girl. She turns 1 (ONE!) on September 29. Elena Ruth is my JOY, my love. To hear her giggle and laugh takes every cloud away. She started walking this week – August 31! And to think this time last year, I was laid up in bed with shingles, wondering how she would ever exit my giant body! πŸ˜‰ I love this precious gift. I’m so blessed.

  • My handsome, smart, loving, sweet, compassionate husband. As we did our annual women’s retreat last weekend, I was reminded again of how many women there are who do NOT have husbands as wonderful as mine. I was able to attend the retreat, do my responsibilities, and not worry an ounce about my daughter because Brian stayed home with her – cooked her meals, took her for walks, cleaned the house, did our giant loads of unending laundry, and still got his work done. Superman. Pretty sure.

  • My little school. It’s my ministry and I take it seriously, as my own. I’m thankful for the days I get to spend in here. I’m trying to make it my own and I do enjoy teaching – I really do!

  • My house. I know, this is a picture of a doghouse, but it’s right next to my house! And this is what currently makes our house even more “homey.” Brian is constantly fixing up our house to make it more ours. He does little things, like hanging coat racks and my birdfeeder, fixing the new floor so it stays longer, cutting the grass out front… I love my little house. It’s just..perfect.

  • My Eva. Eva takes care of Elena and seriously, these two are like sisters! Eva is a huge help. She watches Elena all the time – as much as possible. She cleans my house the way I want it cleaned (phew!). She disciplines my baby the way I need her to. She’s my little sweetheart and we consider her family.
  • allrecipes.com I live on this website. The only thing missing is a little button that says, “Dinner Tonight.” ha! On my to-do list tonight is to make [ahem, yet another] batch of Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies. heavenly.

  • Passionfruit! MmMMM the fruit of the gods. This stuff is a.m.a.z.i.n.g. I feel sorry for all of you who have never experienced the taste of fresh passionfruit juice, passionfruit slushies, passionfruit ice cream, passionfruit cheesecake.. I am blessed to live in a land where passionfruit is in season year-round.

  • This week, some of our very good friends back in PA flew to Ethiopia to pick up their baby girl! They have been waiting since the end of last year to actually go get her. They visited her in March and had to leave her there only to fail court I don’t know how many times and wonder if they’d ever bring her home. But, God is just amazing and they got to take Tsega out of her orphange on her first birthday. Is God cool or what? Adoption is an amazing thing. Someday, we’d like to adopt as well, if God allows. In the meantime – congrats, Joanna. We’re so happy for you! Read her blog at: Β http://www.mymeanderings.net/
  • I’m thankful for a good meeting today with parents of two of my kids. Tough meeting, but a necessary one. I think it was good that I did it, even though it basically made me sick before I actually went in! In the words of Rex the Dinosaur on “Toy Story”: “I don’t like confrontation!”
  • Tomorrow is a yardsale. They are few and far between here in Peru (like, two a year), so this is fun! Tomorrow should include some higher end items (nicer district of Lima), so I’m looking forward to it. Last year, we bought Elena’s bedding, her butterfly she played on, and her bouncy chair. Score. Don’t know if we’ll be as lucky this year! But, we’ll see! Here’s her bedding:

  • Okay, honestly, can I say this? I am thankful for our television! How shallow do I sound right now? Oh well. Judge me if you want; you’re the sucker reading my blog. Anyway – we got satellite last year when another missionary couple left. We split the cost with something like 4 other missionary families so it’s next to nothing for satellite with DVR. sweet. It’s Brian and I’s escape at the end of the day. We have our favorite shows – in English – from the States – and it’s just… nice. We get lots of movie channels, so we’re never lacking for a movie night. I don’t know; it’s just… comforting somehow. Shallow? Maybe. Do I care? Not really.
  • Our mission board, Bible Centered Ministries International. We just love being a part of this global team. We know quite a few missionaries who just aren’t fully content with their board, but stick with them anyway…not sure why. We love being a part of BCM – they feel like a giant, extended family. Our President has had breakfast in our little house and knows us by name – he comments on my pictures on Facebook, for goodness’ sake. We appreciate our board and all they do for us. It’s a joy serving with them. We are celebrating 75 years this year and our president just went to India with his wife to celebrate with our work over there. Wow, so inspiring.
  • Skype. My parents use Skype to call us on our house phone and we call them on our computer other times to use the camera. Even though the connection is not always good, at least I get to see them and they get to see the baby! My brother has Skype now, too, so hopefully we can connect up that way so the cousins can see each other.

  • In closing today, I guess I have to say, our new puppy really does make me happy. I am thankful for our new puppy. It was really hard leaving Gunther, our old dachshund from the States, with my parents when we left. Brian and I both grew up with dogs and it’s weird not having a pet. Even though she’s more work than I cared to have at this time in my life, she’s awfully sweet and makes me smile. There’s always something nice about having somebody always happy to see you, someone who greets you every time you come and go, and who gives you kisses relentlessly. Mota, our little eraser, is my last blessing for the day.
I leave you with one of my favorite pictures I’ve ever taken here in Peru, from the window of my house. It was taken in summer last year when I was pregnant. Lately, the weather has every now and then felt a little more spring-like and a little less winter. So, here’s my hope – that summer is around the corner! πŸ™‚ And I am blessed to live in a country where our summer is so wonderful ~ and on the way!