Thursday, December 28, 2006

A little boy at Christmastime...

Blessings all around...

Well... Nathan had quite the Christmas... so many wonderful presents from friends and family. Nathan is loving his new tractor, books, clothes, and ornament (of course following the Wallace tradition of a new Hallmark ornament every year :). The tractor as of now is the highlight in his world. Every time it rolls across the floor you will hear my little man say... WOW. It's so precious! So just thought I'd post a few pictures from Christmas in Bolivia. Hope your's was Merry and white :)
The Vargas family at church on Christmas Eve starting off the gift festivities.
Billie Gill was so sweet to make Nathan a new hat and scarf,
that will come in so handy this winter!

The famous tractor from Nana, Papa, and Auntie Em.

A new Hallmark ornament...

is there anything more important than that?

Nathan's thoughts...

Now I know these guys are in one of my movies...

I never knew they were a book too!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

And then there were four...

So who needs a new brother or sister when you can have... a new PUPPY!!! Merry Christmas to Nathan and to us! Last night marked Lucy's first night as a member of the Bull family. She's doing pretty good so far considering her mommy and 8 brothers and sisters are still living next door! Nathan is LOVING having a new playmate! Although one time she got a little rough with his little sock foot and he wasn't loving her so much then :) But we're excited and hoping that along with lots of fun times and new memories... she will bring the added bonus of keeping those pesky varmits out my house! God bless you all and have a MERRY Christmas!
Which one should we take home Nathan? Looks like you like them all!

She's the one!

Nathan loving on Lucy (we're hoping his "loving" stays gentle :)

Mommy and Lucy

Our neighbors... Lucy's Bolivian Family and her 8 other brothers and sisters :)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Where do they learn this stuff?

Lesson #1: If you squint really big while mommy's taking the picture then you don't see those crazy spots for hours after from her crazy flash... and if you make this cheesy smile over and over... there is the off chance that she'll give you a break from picture time for a little while :)

Lesson #2: To be like daddy you don't have to walk a mile in his shoes... you just have to sit in his chair :)
Lesson #3: It's always a great idea to play in the sprinklers and get all wet and muddy right after mommy has just put you in clean / dry clothes :) (hey... daddy brought me out here :)

All boy

One small flight of stairs...
One window sill...
One driveway...
Three falls...
One knot on the head...
One bruise on the cheek...
and one scrape on the head with daddy's ghetto band-aid
One little guy... who is ALL BOY :)

(And I promise we were close at hand when all occured... what can we say... he's like his daddy... like a bull in a China cabinet :)

Oreos and Milk

I will always remember my time with my Grannie and Papa Sterne throughout the years as such fun times. We would go to their house for a week every summer and basically live in our bathing suits for a week since they had a huge swimming pool. I remember picking buckets and buckets of vegetables in their amazing garden, and eating Grannie's amazing cooking all week long.

My Papa was always a card. He was such a mess :) always teasing Emily and I about something or other. He always told us he would put us in for PFC (Private First Class) if we did our chores right, or that if we drank our milk... it would make our hair curly. Or the time he bought the DVD "Lord of the Rings" thinking that he was buying "Lord of the Dance"... expecting some serious dancing to ensue and yet was greeted by orcs, elves and hobbits :) But one memory I have just of him and me was one night when I couldn't sleep. I remember seeing a light on in the kitchen and Papa sitting in there watching TV in the wee hours of the morning. I walked into the kitchen and told my Papa that I couldn't sleep. He quickly moved to put together the magic cure... oreos and milk. After two oreos and a BIG glass of milk... I slept like a baby. Now we all know that it was the milk that helped this little girl sleep again, but I swore for weeks after returning home... that I needed oreos to go to sleep :) I'm sure my mom was just thrilled with her dad at that point :)

When I went to college and was only about 45 minutes from their house I would spend weekends there... enjoy Grannie's yummy food all over again (way better than the caf) and just spend time getting to know them as the people they were since it was just me and them. I so treasure now the time that I had to spend with them and love on them.

My Papa went home to be with our Lord yesterday and my heart aches that I wasn't there... and can't be there now. I would kick into granddaughter mode and take care of things around the house, details that I could help with as they care for other things. But alas I am miles away and my only comfort to send, my only help to give is my prayers. I know they are more powerful than any meal I could cook or errand I could run, but it leaves me feeling a little (okay let's be honest... alot) helpless and aching in my heart. So I petition my friends and family... not only for your prayers at this time for my family... but also that you would love on your family a little extra this year, an extra hug, an extra kiss, an extra I love you... for me.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Recovering :)

Thank you so much for all your prayers yesterday. For our first Bolivian hospital experience I have to say it went pretty well. Gary and I got ready early and left Nathan with Sonia (what a blessing to have her available for situations like these). Our brother Vicente went with us (for company and the occasional needed translation :) The only drawback was that an emergency surgery came in about the time that mine was about to start. But not that big of a deal because that meant we got to partake of cable for about an hour longer :) which is so not in the budget in the Bull family :)

Then they wheeled me down to surgery, where i had to wait on those transport beds (not my mattress of choice if i may say so) for about an hour while they finished up with the emergency and came in to start with me. The anesthesiologist (so not sure if I spelled that right) came in and started my anesthesia, and then the fogginess began. What cracked me up was that a nurse started asking me questions AFTER the anesthesia. And I'm not talking, how are you feeling, or how are liking life here in Cochabamba... no I'm talking, what's your name, age, date of birth. And she was actually entering this stuff into the computer. And as everything is fading from my consciousness I'm thinking, for all this lady knows I could be telling her I'm Big Bird from Sesame Street and I'm not really sure how old I am, but I haven't seemed to age throughout the years :) But none the less, I answered as many as I could, as correctly as I could and then passed out.

A little whoozy as I woke up, but not a big deal and then we came home that evening. The doctor sent off two different spots for biopsy just to be safe and we'll get those results on Wednesday. The tough part now is not picking up my sweet boy when he stands down at my feet, arms raised up to me with that sweet face saying... mommy why aren't you picking me up and loving on me. It's only been twenty four hours and it's already killing me. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we survive this week. And our team as the Marcum's move to a new house, travel to Ecuador, and Butch and JD leave for the states to be at Denise's wedding. It's going to be a busy week here in Cbba, but then again they all are :) God bless you, and a Meeeeerrrrrry Christmas!

Friday, December 8, 2006

Under the Knife

For all of those who remember the crazy biopsy story of old :) I just wanted to ask for a few prayers to be sent our way tomorrow as I'll be having my nose job tomorrow. Just kidding, but I am going to have the mass that has officially caused me much irritation taken out tomorrow, and after much waiting in doctor's offices, a CT scan, x-rays, endoscopy, blood work, an EKG, and two shots this afternoon, I think I'm ready. Who knew? And thank goodness I have an ENT (not an easy word in spanish, no abbreviations here... ) who believes in her patient's being able to breathe through their noses :) I'll be plugged up for a few days, but she has some new crazy thing that has a tube through it that allows you to continue to breathe through your nose even though one side is closed off. Ah, the wonders of modern medicine... and for those who are wondering... no worries, there will NOT be pictures to follow :) So I'm off to have my last liquids of the night, and to remind my husband there will be no brewing of coffee in the morning, or frying of bacon, as this mommy is NPO (nothing, nada, zilch after midnight) until after the surgery. Thank you for the prayers!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006


Let me share a verse from the New International Bull Version :)

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust and RAT destroy... " Matthew 6:19.

Sunday night (after surviving the flood and bug tasting over the weekend) I sat downstairs watching a movie before bed. Nathan was tucked in his bed with the door closed tightly (we would later be very thankful for this...). As I sat on the couch, I saw something move out of the corner of my eye and as I realized what it was, screamed at the top of my lungs... GARY... there's a MOUSE in the house!!!! (First time that I was thankful Nathan's door was closed).

They promptly came running, both the mouse and Gary, the mouse under the couch and Gary to the living room. Gary made a barricade type thing in hopes of blocking him in after we lifted the couch up, but with no success because the rat (not mouse as I found out as Gary got a better look at it) ran under the barricade (no idea how) to the other side of the living room (thank goodness we had moved all Nathan's toys to another room or I would have been doing some serious toy cleaning the next day).

With the rat trapped on the other side of the room, Gary set out to try and make a wall trapping the rat in the room so that we could catch it. But when we (okay Gary) tried to scare him out of his hiding place... he found the one hole in our wall and ran to the hallway, and then what happened next even we have a hard time believing. That rat went vertical probably 3 or 4 feet in the air as he jumped all the way up the stairs to the second floor (second time that I was grateful Nathan's door was closed). At this point Gary and I are both sitting downstairs looking at each other baffled, realizing that we have the Michael Jordan of rats in our house.

So we climb the stairs to find our intruder. We close all doors to every room in hopes of trapping him in. After strip searching every room, we head into Nathan's big boy room (the bedroom I have ready for Nathan when we move him to a twin bed). And there we find the culprit. He's decided the closet is a safe place from those crazy gringos. And he was right because we could not get him to come out from the boxes long enough to kill him. So Gary enters the closet with a broom stick in hopes of leaving with one less creature of God alive in this world. But about 30 minutes later, after much banging and movement Gary exited unsuccessful and really tired (it's about 2 in the morning at this point... and I'm still really thankful Nathan's door is closed!). We decide to call it quits for the night as the rat's not going anywhere anytime soon. (Bad decision... for many reasons).

The next morning we decide to bring in a larger creature of God :) Daisy, the Marcum's dog, to take care of the rodent. The rat stays in the closet all day where he apparently got a little bored and hungry as I would later find out. And we hear the amazing jumping continue throughout the day. Later that evening Josh and Daisy arrive to help out. Daisy is not impressed by the rat and really has no interest in killing it, so Josh and Gary go to work. At one point the rat crawls in between the comforter and sheets of Nathan's big boy bed and is slowed down for a second. Josh recognizes the golden opportunity and moves in for the kill. So now our house is one rodent less (and we're hoping rodent free... although Sonia found another Scorpion this morning in Nathan's room, so we'll have to see).

But yesterday morning as I began the cleaning process of the rat infested big boy room I went into the closet to take things out that needed to be cleaned / washed. Now mind you this closet is where I store extra linens. Linens that I painstakingly went and sought out last year at the after Christmas sales to bring with us in the container... only to find that that crazy rat has chewed holes in my sheets. EWWWW this mommy was so mad... and I can tell you that if that rat had not been dead already, he would have met his maker in that very moment. So we still have lots of cleaning ahead of us, and mending to do, but Gary reminded me of this verse in Matthew as I was mourning my precious linens.... that our treasure is stored up in heaven, not the big boy closet :)

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Special Order

As I opened our last reserve bottle of Children's Tylenol tonight (man this teething business is rough!) I thought to myself I need to email my friends back home and see if they can send a new stash of children's drugs to tide us over until furlough next year. And then I started thinking about people who have written or commented that if there was ever anything that we needed, just to let them know. So I'm cashing in on that offer. There are few things less, yes I said less, enjoyable than chasing down a 14 month old to administer drugs. But one thing worse is to do this with medicine that has an awful taste and with a 1 mL dropper (which is all I have been able to find here). So my Christmas wish is... Children's pain reliever (Tylenol, Equate, Sam's choice, matters not to us), some form of Children's cold medicine like Dimetapp Cold and Cough, Infant Gas Drops, and medicine droppers or the little measuring cups (I think they literally give these away at pharmacies if you ask for them, but I'm not quite sure). Please know that I am not necessarily one to ask for special treatment, but my chasing days are over and we still have teeth to go. So for anyone who would like to help poor little Nathan (I'm working the sympathy angle... is it working :) our mailing address is: first line - Laura Bull, second line - Casilla 575, third line - Cochabamba, Bolivia. No zip no nothing, it's as easy as that. And if you keep the package under 4 pounds, it won't have to go through customs (where it could sit for months... literally), and will come directly to our box. A big thank you in advance to all who respond. We so appreciate all the help that our friends and family provide for us while we're here! God bless you all.

Today my heart is full

My heart is so full as I sit and type about our day today. In the picture above you can see us and our teammates Butch and Jeff, and in the green shirt is our friend, and brother in Christ Vicente Castillo. Recently after hitting the ground here in Cochabamba Gary received an email from Vicente. He had been following our team through the website that Gary designed and our family blog. He contacted Gary in hopes of worshipping with us... and the rest is history, and a sweet one at that. Since that day we have gotten to know and cherish Vicente as a friend and brother. Vicente was (and is) a baptized believer and after much study between he and Gary we all agreed that he was baptized just as we were, for the forgiveness of sins. We have gotten to know his family (his precious mother Nelcy, who by the way loves Nathan, his older brother and his wife, and his younger brother and his girlfriend). In fact we were there just yesterday for lunch for which Nelcy cooked a traditional Bolivian meal from her home area of Potosi. It is always such a treat for us to get to spend time with them. So as if having their friendship wasn't blessing enough, today we were blessed to watch Vicente state publicly in the worship service that he wants to be a member of the body of Christ with us here in Cochabamba. As I watched my husband recount their getting to know each other, study together, and grow together, and then was able to watch Josh and Butch come up front as well to pray over our brother, my heart was so full. And as tears ran down my face as I wrestled Nathan because he wanted to be with Gary and Vicente up front as well :) I sat and marveled at the goodness of our God. Butch spoke of how we are here in this city to make disciples, but how also we have been so blessed to find believers already here, already following the beautiful words and teachings of our God. We are so blessed as a family to have the friendship of the Castillo family, and blessed to call Vicente our brother in Christ. Praise God for calling His children to Him. He has a way of showing himself to us! Thank God for days like today, He continues to amaze me!

And the weather report is....

Torrential rains! Which is what we had last night. Gary and I had settled in for the night, as he popped popcorn and kicked my tail at Skip Bo. And as we sat downstairs we literally thought that sleet was falling, the raindrops that began to fall were that big! We marveled at the storm, but didn't think much about it. Until about a half an hour later when we noticed the water level rising on the back porch. Well, if you remember the recent adventures of Nathan's plastic ball in our plumbing system, you'll remember the "door" of sorts that opens to the plumbing system out our back door. Gary lifted it once again and the water level improved greatly. But seeing this made me wonder how things were going in other parts of the house.

This house has already been such a tremendous blessing to us as a family, you can't even imagine. Yet, last night we were introduced to one of its not so nice aspects. The doors and windows to the second floor and attic are, how shall we say, not sealed super tight, so we had quite the water coming in off the balcony (into our bedroom) and around the occasional window.

The reason I recount this to you, is not to complain about construction or life here in Bolivia, but rather to sing praises to God. I realized last night as I sopped up water beside my husband, that God has done mighty things within this daughter of His. A year ago I would have had quite the emotional outburst, ranted about life here, and possibly threatened (just threatened) to pack. But last night God showed me in such a precious way, how He has grown me. For the reaction that followed was nothing I could have done on my own.

There were no tantrums thrown, no frustrations yelled, no boxes packed, and no hateful thoughts within this head. I truly was at peace. A little irritated that a few articles of clothes were ruined in the process, but what amazed me was the mantra that kept coming to my mind... it's just stuff. In the past I have said this to myself on many occasion, to force myself to believe it. But this time, it was not forced, it was not a reminder, it was an overflow of what the Father has placed within the heart of His child. I sat there, a little soggy :), and knew that everything in this house is simply material. What mattered most was that Nathan, Gary and I were safe. We were dry (even if the carpets weren't :) we have food to eat, clothes to wear, and all our needs met. Even if we lost everything, what matters most in this world is still safe, and that's my family. My husband and my son. I held my son a little longer than usual tonight as we rocked, and I was reminded of my love for my two precious men, and I thanked God that those that are my heart are "sano y salvo"... safe and sound :) (loose translation by Laura Bull :)

Saturday, December 2, 2006

The taste test continues

Apparently the recent taste test of baby shampoo wasn't enough for my Nathan :) Recently Nathan has really been enjoying raisins. He pops them like candy. The only problem with his new found favorite snack is that they resemble beetles :) oh we can all see where this is going can't we? And after last nights tropical hurricane in Cochabamba (details to follow soon), we had quite a few beetles in the house who were coming in to seek refuge from the storm. And this morning as we were sitting in the living room Nathan wandered up chewing on something. Mind you, usually it is a battle to get him to relinquish whatever he has in his mouth, but not this time... no this time the look on my son's face was one of... daddy, please get it out, I thought this thing was a raisin, but it most definitely is not! So after some fish hook/finger maneuvering, Gary pulled out half a beetle. Yes, I said half. We're still not sure where the other half went, but I'm sure we'll find out one day. Added protein right? I know this is only the beginning of gross things my son will try to eat, but not having had a brother, this is completely new territory for me. My sister and I were usually content to leave bugs and other critters alone with the don't bother it and it won't bother you philosophy. My son has obviously chosen another path in life, and I'm along for the ride :)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

So long, farewell

At one of our baby showers in the states we received the most precious "big boy" pajamas. They are by far one of my favorite pieces of clothing that Nathan has. They are covered in big boy things, lizards, bugs, worms and frogs (cute ones of course). But last night I think they made their last run. I'm sure all of us mommies have experienced this, but as I pulled the shirt over my son's great big head, I thought these aren't going to last much longer. Then as I saw the sleeves that had become 3/4 length, I thought oh yeah, not much longer. Then as he stood up in the pants that had become capris (not very manly I might add :) I really thought, okay, last night for these guys. And my heart did a little drop as I realized that my little man is growing up. I would upload a picture, but they've already made their way into the "too small" for Nathan box. God bless our little ones as they grow into little boys and girls. May God guide us as we raise them and show us how to lead them to Him everyday!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Let the Christmas Carols Begin

And traveling all the way from Brownwood, TX to be here with us today, straight from the container to your front door... the Bull's Christmas tree! (and the crowd goes wild!) Complete with cookie dough ornaments from years long gone, our tree is up and ready for business. Mind you all the soft, kid friendly ornaments have inhabited the bottom 2 feet, oh how children change things! :) And although it's not snowing and there's no need for a jacket, we've got our Christmas tree up, our carols in the CD player, and presents already under the tree (thanks to Nana, Papa, and Auntie Em). So let the season begin!

My new table

So now I know what happens when you buy your child a new table and chairs, he sits on the rubbermaid right beside them :) Man you gotta love these little ones! :)

Maroon Out from Cochabamba

We made sure to wear our Maroon to support the Aggies, even if from afar, and it looks like this year it did the trick! :) Gig 'em Ags!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Giving Thanks

Yesterday we were blessed to celebrate Thanksgiving here in our new home with our teammates. It was really so much fun. We had a time of devotion and singing (in English which is always good for the soul :) and then ate to our hearts content. My kitchen table was sagging under the weight of such great food :) from turkey and dressing, green beans and mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes, fresh bread and gravy. And that was just the real food, that doesn't even begin to go into the desserts. Which for the most part were pies, pumpkin, pecan, chocolate chip, and chocolate rolls. I tried my hand at pie crusts for the first time and they turned out really good. I was so relieved. It's not easy without the Wal-Mart freezer section to turn to... but thanks to my Grannie's pie crust recipe, there was pie all around :) And to complete the day my family was decked out in their maroon to support the Aggies who played today... and WON!!!! Now that's something to be thankful for! Hope that you and your's enjoyed the holiday as much as we did here, good friends, good food, good games!

The Culprit

Exploring new territory

Nathan has been exploring new territory here in Bolivia. He's all boy, and I mean that in every sense of the word! One of the things that we have recently become very intimately acquainted with here in Bolivia is the plumbing system in our home. In each room that has water flowing to it... such as the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room, they all have a hole about 3 inches by 3 inches in the floor that carries water to the pipe that leads to the main valve or pipe that carries all the water from the house out to the street. I have grown to appreciate these holes as we mop because there's no need to dry or go over the floor a second time, you just pour your hot soapy water on the floor, mop, and then squeegy (seriously have no idea how to spell that word) the water to the hole, it's marvelous. And they work great, until little Nate man throws a kink, no more accurately said, throws a ball into things. Oh yes, you guessed right. Wednesday morning I started a load of laundry and went back upstairs to get little man out of bed. Sonia got here around 9:30 and when she went into the laundry room I heard her calling my name, apparently there was quite a bit of water all over the floor. Well we had had an episode with the laundry machine before so I really didn't think a whole lot about it, just thought I'll have Gary take a look at it later. As she was squeeging (really gotta figure out how to spell that word) the water out the back door, she noticed that as the washing machine was emptying again the water was not coming from the machine, but up from the beloved hole in the floor. Thus began the search for the source of the problem.

Gary came downstairs and ran wire through the pipes to try and see if he could force out whatever was causing the problem, but to no avail. Then later that day our landlord (who lives next door) came over to see if he could help. There is a square portion of the back porch that is kind of like a door that can be lifted up to view the main pipe carrying the water out to the street that is located right outside the back door. James tried and tried and tried to lift this square block but it's about 7-8 inches thick and is solid concrete. He explained to me where he thought the problem was and said he would come back later when Gary was home.

At this point everything downstairs is backed up, no using any sinks for anything. Gary came home for lunch and tried to lift this crazy block too and couldn't. But being the creative man that he is realized that maybe the car jack could be of assistance :) and it was. So after he sets up the jack and lifts this concrete block, he and James (who's come back over by now) work to try and find the source of the problem. One thing that you have to know is that when we were home Nathan fell in love with this Playskool toy that includes these little plastic balls about the size of a racqetball, which apparently fit perfectly down the pipe hole in my kitchen.

And which was exactly what James and Gary found as the worked to rid the pipe of the problem. Gary said to me... there are very few situations in his life in which he has been more embarrased. Here he was working and working to solve the problem with the help of our landlord (who kept saying, i just don't understand, we never had this problem when we lived here :) and at the end of all the hard work, to pull out one of our son's toys... yeah, so that was a humbling experience. Needless to say, we keep much closer tabs on the little plastic balls now and are trying to figure out how to glue down the hole covers :)

I recently bought Nathan some new crayons at the local market here. He's loving coloring and we're saving his masterpieces to send home to the grandparents soon. But today from the looks of my son you'd think I never feed the kid. Because he was walking around with one crayon in each hand gnawing on them as if they were pretzels. Now mind you I know this must be a normal thing for kiddos as they begin to color. They have all survived a little crayon in the digestive system. But normally it is only mommy and daddy who are witness to the crayons leaving the system, many times in the same form in which they entered :) But not in the Bull household because we took Nathan to the pediatrician today to have him check out little man for a cough that's been hanging on for a week or so and for a pretty raw little tushy. The pediatrician decided to do some lab work, which for all you parents out there means watching and trying to catch the pooping machines in action. Now all who know us well know that we have survived stool samples before, and under much worse circumstances (with a 3 month old, solely breastfeeding baby, let's just say gallon sized ziplocks with holes cut for Nathan's legs were involved :) but the afore mentioned sample did not have to be handed to a lab worker with the preface, yes I know there are blue and green flecks all in there, and no it is not what Nathan had for dinner :) Yes, we know crayons are not one of the main food groups, we appreciate your concern, we're working on it :)

And last but not least is Nathan exploring the boundaries of the bath water. For some reason it's not enough to sit and play in the bath water, or even to splash it every where. Nathan's newest play time is to sit in the water and inch by inch lower his entire face towards the surface of the bath water. Until the moment at which his face reaches the water and he realizes that his entire face is under water. He's such a hoot as he pulls up from the water gasping as if someone was trying to teach him to swim under water. They are so funny as they explore new sensations and boundaries! So needless to say I know there will be many more adventures to come from Nathan, I just hope that we come away from them all laughing, even if just to ourselves :) about them all. God bless you all and thanks for reading about the current adventures of Nathan Wallace. Until next time.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Please let the record show

If there were such a thing as a retraction in blog land, please find the following to be such. Late last night in the process of blogging/journaling some of my thoughts and feelings, it seems they might have been a little misconstrued. First, let me say that I am amazed that there are people back home reading, other than those who are commenting. And for that I am grateful, it's really great to know that supporters back home are able to keep up with us and know how we are doing on an almost daily basis through our blog. But secondly let me apologize for not earlier having posted a public thank you note. You see recently we received the most precious gift from a supporting congregation of one of our teammates, the Sandoval family. Being far away from home this time of year is so hard for so many reasons, but one of the things that could ease a little of the pain is having the same familiar decorations, music, or in this case foods that we are used to having on the table during the holidays. But alas, it is a little hard to find pumpkin pie filling here, cranberry sauce, and other such staple items. This precious congregation was so thoughtful and I cannot even tell you how many times over the last two weeks I have marveled at their thoughtfulness, and said so to our teammates, or fellow Amercians here in Cbba. The Comanche Trail Church of Christ (I pray I got that full name right) sent us as a team a care package aka Thanksgiving survival package, complete with Cranberry sauce, gravy mix packages, mashed potatoes (ready to made of course :) Pumpkin pie filling, pie crusts (now that was smart! they obviously know I've never made a pie crust in my life :) spices for baking that are hard to find here, and drumroll please, homemade pecan pralines... along with pecans for baking (which are nonexistent here, which is so sad that the Cochabambinos are missing out on the wonderful world of pecans). So please know, and hear now, the gratefulness with which we are filled as missionaries on the field, to receive such a precious package! The comments of gratitude have been flying down here, I apologize for not yet having sent them your way! God bless you each for your hearts, your thoughtfulness of us during this time, and most of all your prayers!

*** Side note: the reason I continue to look for things like cranberry sauce is that I have learned my lesson. Here in Cochabamba there are a handful of stores that carry imports from the states. Over the past few months I have seen cans of cranberry sauce, or the onions to go on the green bean casserole. But left them on the shelf as I knew we had months and months to go before the holidays. But now as the holidays grow near, they are no where to be found. So that was the cranberry sauce at 2 dollars a can reference, just keeping my eyes peeled for those specialty items :) to keep my pantry stocked with comfort foods from home! Hope you all understand and know how sorry I am for not communicating earlier how much we appreciate all that our supporters do for us! God bless you all!

Friday, November 17, 2006

The pity party ends NOW

The past few days my sweet husband has gotten quite the earful. And taken it gracefully he has! The complaints coming from this wife have ranged from... why can't the movie theater have a phone number to call instead of having to go there to find out when the movies are playing? why is cooking so much more of a challenge here? why in preparation for thanksgiving do i have to pay almost 2 dollars for a 4 ounce can of cranberry sauce? why do we live miles and miles away from our families and friends as the holidays roll around? why can the stores and restaurants here not accomodate the gringo and play a little Christmas music? and the complaints went on and on.

But the pity party stops here!! Over the past few days God has brought in to view, very poignantly I might add, that I am immeasurably blessed.

I stumbled on a website the other day of a young mother who lost her 3 year old son in a car accident. As I sat at my computer reading her account of the day he died and how she held him in her arms, knowing he was already gone, then crawled up in the hospital bed and couldn't leave his body there for anything, I realized what an amazing gift I have in my precious Nathan. I cry again even as I sit here typing. Sure, he's a little crazy at times, his teeth are driving him crazy, he got shots this week which made him a bundle of joy, but he's still mine, and he's still here. I can still rock him to sleep at night and kiss his sweet face as he lays asleep in his crib, we can still play hide and seek around the house and make fish faces as he giggles that laugh that makes my heart sing and I will still get to watch him grow for years to come... Lord willing. I am blessed!

And then I stumbled on the blog of some fellow Harding graduates. Keith, the husband has recently been diagnosed with cancer, it sounds like it is not the first time, but I don't know the whole story and so I can't say that for a fact. What I can say for a fact is that he has an amazing wife. One who with every word that she writes holds on to hope that there is healing for her husband, and the father of her child! They have a little boy named Lincoln who I pray will know his father for years to come. I think of the "discussions" that Gary and I have had over the last few days in my frustration with life right now. I may be frustrated with late night basketball games, Age of Empires, or that in Bolivian traffic it took him 3 times as long as normal to get home for lunch. But the truth of the matter is that I have an amazing husband, who is healthy, present, and engaged in our life. A husband who is a great daddy, who loves to make memories with his son, and who I pray will have many years more to come with Nathan. I am blessed with a husband who handles this still culture shocked missionary wife gracefully amidst the occasional meltdown, and who sees beyond the craziness to see the growth and beauty that God has placed within me, when I cannot see it myself.

So there's not Silver Bells playing in the grocery store here, so I'm wearing shorts and a sleeveless shirt as I put up our Christmas tree, so Nathan is enduring teething a little less pleasantly than I would like, so Gary's more of an extravert than I am, so I miss friends and family from home sometimes so that my heart aches, I am still blessed. The pity party stops here. Thank you Father for reminding me of the blessings you have placed in my life. Thank you for reminding me that this was not a bargain that we made, but a commitment, and that you are faithful to your promises. Thank you for Nathan, and thank you, after 6 years of marriage today... for my precious husband Gary. You are so good to me God, may my life tell you everyday how thankful I am.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Doing my part :)

There have many posts recently written by bloggers about doing their part in voting. Well, this wednesday morning I did my part too :) Only my part was voting for Emmitt Smith in Dancing with the Stars. Now mind you... I did not elect a new Senator, or vote for some promising new legislation, but from across the miles, I was proud to be an American! :) voting for Emmitt, a great dancer, and family man! Sorry to disappoint you voting Americans, I did not go to the polls, I logged into and voted to my heart's content! God bless democracy!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Newest Pic

Here is our newest team picture... all are growing :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Not edible

Well... I'm sure there is huge list of things that I will find in the upcoming months and years that are not edible... that my Nathan is going to try... but this morning I learned a valuable lesson... always put the baby soap/shampoo on the far side of the bathtub where little hands and fingers cannot get to them :) Because although they boast to be tear free... they are not gag and cough free when little ones decide to eat them for breakfast :) I told Gary... well at least he'll be clean... inside and out :) To all the concerned readers... no worries, it was only a 1/2 teaspoon or so... nothing serious... but seriously funny!

Monday, November 6, 2006

While you were sleeping...

No... this is not about some new crazy stunt that Nathan pulled while his mommy was sleeping :) This is about the mommy missing home... missing the holidays and popping in one of the Wallace sisters' favorite DVD's.... "While You Were Sleeping" to feel a little less disconnected. So in honor of the greatness of this chick flick... here are a few quotes... voiced often between Emily and I...

"Should've gotten the blue spruce... they're lighter"

"Joe Jr's still single..." "Yeah, that's a... shocker"

"Is this guy bothering you? Cause it kind a looks like he's.... leaning"

"I think the couch should go... right there"

"These mashed potatoes are sooooo CREAMY"

So for all the movie lovers... enjoy :) And what is your comfort movie of choice? Would love to hear!

Beautiful are the feet :)

Today I took some time out of the house... kiddo free... to go and have a pedicure. Which by the way... if you are interested in a great pedicure for 20Bs. (about $2.50) do I know the place! It might be a little more expensive if you factor in the plane trip that most of my readers would have to take to get here... but for us Cochabambinos, it's well worth it and one of the perks of living here. What you have to know is that my pedicure this afternoon lasted almost 2 hours. It's amazing what living in a drier climate... where this mommy hates wearing shoes around the house (wood and tile floors) and walks on the rock streets in her flip flops :) ... can do to the feet. But the young lady doing my pedicure this afternoon was very gracious and very patient (4 soakings and 4 filings later :) It was great language practice too... I had carried a book with me to read while I soaked, but these ladies were ready to chat :) And I was all about it after I found out that they had a true file to work on my feet. To understand my appreciation... you have to know that when I last went to get a pedicure in Cochabamba (in February I think it was) after soaking in hot water... the beautician pulled out a cheese grater to work on my heels (and NO they were not that bad :) Recounting the experience to the ladies today at the beauty shop... they asked me what year that happened in... because in the "old days" they used to use those. Okay... seriously do I look old enough to have experienced the "old days" :) and they got a chuckle when they found out it happened just this year! So all in all... I brought a smile to the beauticians faces today... lively conversation to the beauty shop... and my feet look worlds better :) Come on down anytime for a pedicure :) my treat :) (the pedicure that is... sorry I can't afford the plane ticket :)

Saturday, November 4, 2006

The many faces of Nathan

I'm sure that all mommies in this world can give witness to the joy we get out of the sweet... and at times silly faces of our bundles of joy. I have been trying to capture some of Nathan's new ones on film and during pool time today he happened to cooperate. So here is the source of most of this mommy's smiles and laughter lately :) Hope his silliness brings a smile to your face today!

Pool time

So here in Cochabamba in our new house we have a small pool out back... and Nathan gave it a try today with his daddy. It was a little chilly which explains Nathan still wearing his shirt... we weren't exactly expecting a swim :) But none the less... here's proof that we are enjoying the water thing alot better than we were a few weeks ago... which basically everyone we visited at home can attest to was a miserable experience :) Here are some new pictures of our splash monster :)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Auntie Em

No no... we're not talking Dorothy here... we're talking my precious sister... who my son adores. And why wouldn't he? She's the best Auntie Em that there is. What a joy it was to my heart to be able to see them play together and love on each other during our time home! I thank God for family and Nathan thanks God for Auntie Em!

Bargain or Commitment

One of my most treasured books right now is "Though None Go With Me" by Jerry B. Jenkins. I love the real and candid look he paints of the life of a woman trying throughout the seasons of her life to follow her God, wherever He leads. While I was home recently my mom and I were able to watch the movie version of the book (which the book... as usual... was much better!), but there was a quote in the dialogue of the movie that I did not remember reading in the text of the book. But one for which I was grateful to hear and be reminded. As the main character faces trials and hard times she remembers back on something a loved one said to her... "You made a commitment to God, not a bargain." Simple words, simply put, but what truth. How many times have we heard the phrase... "I didn't bargain for this." I am realizing more and more everyday the truth in the idea of commitment vs. bargain. I committed to God as I put Him on in baptism, but I didn't understand the depth of that commitment, at that time I really think I was bargaining with God... Okay God, here's my life, heart, and all of me, until things get rough, and then we'll have to see about this. I made a commitment to our work here, and on the days when things are frustrating, or overwhelming, it has brought me such comfort and strength to remember, I did not make a bargain with God, I made a commitment. I committed to His work here and to His church here, I committed to the good days and the bad. And when I remember the difference in commitment and bargain, I also remember who it is that I made that commitment to... the God of the universe, who will always sustain, guide and protect me. That reminder of my commitment and of the God to whom I am committed has helped me in so many ways over the last few weeks. It has given me the endurance that I need to run the race, I pray that it will you too! "Though none go with me... still I will follow... no turning back... no turning back!"

Monday, October 30, 2006

Don't tell Daddy

Not that we keep secrets from Daddy... but this is too funny. One of Nathan's new fascinations is putting things on his hands, or putting his hands through things so that they fit on his wrists. Now that can range from his socks, to teething rings, to... yes you've got it... bracelets. My son is definitely secure enough in his manhood to wear bracelets :) And I think he pulls it off well :) Here he is during our trip home playing with Jen and trying on the bracelets that we brought to her from Bolivia. I think his smile says it all!

Kisses please

So we all know that kids say the darndest things, but they do the darndest things too. I sure thought that Nathan's fish face took the cake... but this is pretty precious too. Most little ones have a special way that they start giving kisses, whether it's blowing kisses, butterfly kisses, or Eskimo kisses. But not this little Cochabambino. Nathan is all about extending himself when someone asks for a kiss, only he "extends" only his forehead. So when asked for a kiss... my crazy little man puts his head down waiting for his kiss :) So as you can see below... he was giving Papa kisses, and if you look very closely... you can see the kiss marks left behind from his Auntie Jen during our visit. One day I look forward to "real" kisses from Nathan... although I will say the forehead is a better alternative to the open mouth slobbers he gives from time to time :) But this mommy will take Nathan kisses however they may come!

And the lucky number is....

My dad would be so proud. For some reason, our family lucky number was always 13, a little strange as others that I know avoid this number, but not us Wallace's... we embrace it :) And my son is making his Papa proud. Nathan was born on September 13... He is now 13 months old... and today I found tooth number 13 in little man's mouth. Which seriously explains the cranky pants attitude today :) Nathan is more a blessing everyday in my life, and I thank God for allowing me to be his mommy! How lucky I am :)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Hasta Luego

Well... it comes to this... it's not good-bye, it's just see you later :) Our trip home has been amazing! And while I will go through withdrawl all over again for Wal-Mart, McDonald's french fries, Taco Bell, Blue Bell, and Sonic slushes... the hardest part by far is saying good-bye to those that we love. From our friends in North Little Rock, to our Silver City family, from visiting Searcy, to our time with Gary's family in Perryville, from our trip to Lake City to see my extended family, to Jacksonville with my mom's folks, from my best friend Jennifer flying down to make a crazy road trip with me, to our time with our Austin Avenue and Westside families, and ending with my Mom, Dad, and sister Emily, our time here was full of beautiful memories, beautiful people and the beautiful spirit of my God. Coming home is so worth it, and yet the part of me that hates to hurt thinks... is it really worth it? To come home and attach yourself here again... only to have to say good-bye? And then I see the picture above... and I know that it is. It was worth it for this mommy to come home in so many ways... but the thing most beautiful to me... was watching my son love and be loved by those that I treasure most in this world! So to all those who our paths were able to cross in our time here... know that you have blessed our lives again, in such tremendous ways, know that it will be those times that we will remember (above and beyond the crazy fast food and slushes along the way :) and treasure for the year to come. And Lord willing, we will make our way back here, next year with a crazy two year old :) God bless you all and know that I praise my God daily for you each and the support and encouragement that you provide to Gary, Nathan and I!

Sunday, October 1, 2006

The grace of his father

Now mind you that i know my son is loved by our amazing God and has and will continue to receive his abundant grace in his life as he grows and matures... but it's the other father i'm talking about this time... the grace of his Bull father :) Yesterday Nathan had quite the day visiting all his aunts/uncles/grandparents/cousins on Gary's side of the family in Perryville. They were all so excited to see him and he loved playing outside in the grass, which we're still working on not eating :) but i think my favorite comment during our time there was Gary's sister Christy talking to Nathan and saying, Boy... you're as graceful as your daddy :) amidst one of Nathan's tumbles of the day :) i'll tell you one thing, Nathan really misses his daddy. Gary and Nathan have gotten into the habit of playing on the beds, rough housing on the floors, and just being boys together :) a job that this mommy doesn't do really well. so i am all the more thankful to our God for knowing the balance that a marriage, the wife and husband, bring to raising our children! and i absolutely say hats off to single moms! i have about 2 and a half more weeks to go and i already need a vacation :) God has blessed me with such a precious family in my husband and son and i know that there are many days that i don't realize just how much of a partnership Gary and i are in parenting, until we're away from him for a time. All that to say, i am a blessed woman, blessed by my God and my family!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Catch Up

So... long time, no blog :) and we have made it safely stateside once again. Mind you... after a long long long flight with a crazy one year old who could not understand why he couldn't walk up and down the aisles of our plane :) But overall, it was an uneventful trip, which is definitely what you pray for when traveling internationally with a little one. My folks and sister had a great visit in Bolivia, getting a taste of our life in Cbba and enjoying getting reacquainted with their grandson and nephew. My sister posted some great pics of their trip and her visit with her Compassion Int. child on her blog so head on over and check them out (Bolivia pics 1, Bolivia pics 2) . I'll be putting some fun new stories of our first few days back home... which will involve some crazy wal-mart experiences, and all kinds of fun stuff... so until then. good night friends and family, who are now just a local call away :)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

My own personal photographer

Here I am again, Nathan speaking... did I mention that I'm one year old now? Just thought I'd check and make sure that everyone knew :) And in honor of my birthday my Aunt Emily came to visit me with my Nana and Papa. Well, you see my Aunt Emily got a new camera recently, and who is there better in the world to take pictures of than me? So I thought I'd have mommy put a few of them on our blog for you all to see! Sorry for the funny faces, I'm keeping 'em laughing down here in Cbba... that's for sure :)

My little one-year old

Welcome back to the Bull family to the land of blogging. Life has been a little crazy around here... good crazy, but crazy none the less! We are finally settled in our new house (to the help of teammates and my parents and sister - who made it here safely and have been enjoying their time here in Cbba). But settling into a new house also means transferring all of your previous services to your new house... which in Cbba can takes weeks, and while it took less time than expected to hook up our internet service, it was still too long for me. You just have no idea how you rely on the internet to keep in touch with others until you don't have it at the tips of your fingers. So needless to say, we are happy to be back online. and happy to report that in our period of absence... Nathan turned one year old. It was a really special day as he had his Nana, Papa, and Aunt Emily here to celebrate with him. His daddy grilled out for our family, teammates, and friends... only about 60 or 70 shishkabobs :) and did a great job! Nathan had a ton of fun exploring his new toys, as you can see below, but wasn't quite sure what to think about his #1 candle on his cupcake, oh well, we'll wait til next year to experience the whole face in the cake thing :) But for now, we're just enjoying having our family here and getting ready to start packing for our international travel adventures back to the states! Thank you to all who thought of, and prayed for Nathan on his special day... we are blessed beyond measure!

Friday, August 25, 2006

This is what it means...

So to tell you how the last few days have been here in Cbba... there must be a time of confession. Not necessarily a confession that I am proud to disclose, but one that must be shared none the less. The last year has been a hard year for me... now I know that is not a newsflash to those who know me, or have followed the going ons in the life of the Bulls. But what is not always noticeable is that I had not truly enjoyed mommyhood like I had hoped to. Chalk it up to PPD, culture shock (to mommyland and Bolivia), or whatever else you might think of. But at the same time please don't misunderstand, I love my son, have from the day we found out he would one day enter our world. But have struggled so as a new mommy with confidence. Not sure if other new mommies struggle the same way, but I truly felt inadequate. That doesn't even begin to describe it though, there was an anxiety in my heart about being a mommy. If I had to take Nathan somewhere by myself, or go to church by myself (without Gary) there was an anxiety deep inside me about being enough. Not knowing if I could do it on my own. That yuckiness really spilled over into our marriage, into how I interacted with my husband and my son. Again, please know that my son has not been mistreated :) He has been loved and nurtured from the day he entered this world. But this last week he has been enjoyed by this mommy in a way that I never knew I could. I have loved being a mommy this week. From the crying to the laughing, I have loved every minute. I could tell you different reasons for the change, but there is only one that I know without a shadow of a doubt has come into my life like a fresh breeze, and that is the presence of my Lord. I have prayed and prayed over the last few weeks in a different way than I have since, well... truly since the miscarriage, and my life, my spirit, and my soul can attest to the difference. I thank God for His Spirit that He left to comfort, guide and impart His wisdom until His Son returns. That Spirit has been a new life in me this past week and I am reborn. So to all of those who have us in their daily prayers... know that no matter what you have been praying for us, your prayers have been answered, and this mommy is "disfrutando" (enjoying - savoring) my roles in life. It makes my heart ache a little that it has taken this long, but it is all in the Lord's timing, and His timing is ALWAYS perfect. Praise the Lord oh my soul!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Answered Prayers

Just wanted to give everyone a quick update on the crazy nose situation going on down here :) We went to the doctor on Thursday to get results of the biopsy and x-rays taken on Monday... and wouldn't you know... we hit a snag. I was sooooo missing the medical system in the states as the secretary looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if they had the results to my tests in the office. You see... and I should have remembered this from other team members experiences, but you live and learn... here you have to go and pick up your own x-rays / test results / whatever else they did... and actually take it to the doctor's office yourself. Now I'm used to the system in the states where you practically have to give them your first born child and sign release documents in your own blood to receive medical records. But here... you just walk up... and request your results... no i.d... no first born... no blood... no nothing. So Friday I went to pick up the results (because after the doh moment in the doctor's office... the secretary had called ahead to the hospital to check on the results and of course they weren't done). Then Friday afternoon was able to touch base with the Doc. She said that all came back clear... no malignancy Praise our God and now we are just going to go forward from here with a CT of the head (I'm telling you she's worried I don't have a brain :) So all of that to say... thank you so much for all your prayers!!! After much prayers, and much chocolate ice cream (comfort foods!) we are alot more relaxed down here :)

And answered prayer #2... drumroll please... we found a house. We'll be moving in.. Lord willing on the first of September and are really excited. With every motorcycle / car alarm / bark of the dog that lives above us I thank God that He has provided us with a home, that will give us a little more space and tranquility. There is an attic bedroom with tons of room AND... it's own bathroom... PERFECT for visitors... so seriously come on down. The Bull hotel will be up and running with it's first guests... my folks and sister around the tenth of September :) And we'd love to have more in the months to come. God bless you all!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Installment #....

You know you're in Cochabamba when.....

A motorcycle is considered a family vehicle :)

(courtesy of Gary Bull)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Double the pleasure... Double the fun

So two new funny stories from the Bull bunch. Being from the state of Arkansas brings a whole new set of fun facts, & jokes. One being that all little boys, okay men too, have mullets (hope I spelled that right). You know the almost ponytail in the back... a little scary to invision I admit, but needed to tell the story. So Nathan is folically challenged so far (of which he comes by naturally :) but not in one part of his head.... the back. So recently Gary & I had been noticing that the longer the hair got... the more it truly resembled Nathan's Arkansas roots of a mullet. So his daddy decided one night before bathtime that we would take care of the problem & with one fell swoop of the scissors, took care of that :) So picture this... I'm sitting in front of Nathan to distract him while his daddy sits behind him with the scissors, so I have yet to see my husband's handy work... & I say to him... how does it look? He says "okay" I ask "is it even?" & he says to me, in a serious voice and honestly "you wanted it even?" okay so after my heart started beating again, I laughed like I haven't laughed in a long time. I said to Gary "no I thought a Charlie Brown yellow t-shirt zig-zag might be a nice look for Nathan" in between laughs. So in conclusion, the hair turned out fine, it is a little uneven, but we can thank the Wallace - kind of curl - for that. And we will be attending a barbershop from here on out :)

Second story, last week I went to an ENT here. I've been having some trouble with a mass growing in my nose (probably too much information :), & was getting a little concerned. So she suggests that we do a biopsy and an x-ray (to make sure the gringo has a brain right? :) So today Gary & I trek across town to a hospital where Dra. Choque works for the biopsy. We get there and wait because you wait for doctors no matter the country or culture, I promise that, & then she calls me in. So I sit down in this crazy chair & then 4 med students circle around me. Now I'm not claustrophobic, but really, this lady's going to cut something out of my nose, do you all really have to stand here & watch :) Then she hands some gauze to one of the students to catch the blood that will run from my nose (mind you there are four right? Two male & two female. Now one male looked very gentle/sensitive, would've been okay with him holding the gauze, the two females looked very capable, but no... she hands the gauze to a male who looks like he should be an offensive lineman for the Cowboys, not exactly surgeon hands if you know what i mean) Then she proceeds to tell me to lean my head back (which will be the first of about 50 million times that she will say this to me in 10 minutes) & as blood is running the three capable students are yelling at the linebacker to use the gauze in his hand :) oh, you should have seen my face. but it gets better.... after she gets the samples that she needs she packed what seemed like half a Northeast Arkansas field of cotton up my nose, with drops and proceeds to tell me that I can't take it out for 3 days. 3 DAYS???? and then takes cotton gauze, and tapes it to the outside of my nose. So wouldn't you like to see pictures of this. Gary keeps telling everyone that I gave him lip just one too many times :) And you can imagine the challenge in trying to keep an 11 month old (who is in the picking stage) from touching... okay ripping the tape from my face. So... we shall see how the next few days go. They can't be any crazier than today... let's hope :) Just thought I'd share a few funny stories from the life of a Bolivian mommy :) Hope you got the laugh that we did!!

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Ready or not....Here I Come!!!!

Calling all Prayer Warriors

Friends and Family... The Bulls have a prayer request for all. We have recently made the decision to start looking for a house to rent here in Cochabamba. We decided that we would love to live close to our teammates the Marcums who live about 10 to 15 minutes from the center of downtown, where we currently live. It is not that we have not been happy with our apartment thus far, just that we are ready to have a little more space, for our family and future visitors :) and are ready to live in a place without someone above us (like the crazy dog living above us now :) So we began looking and found what I think (knowing that this may not be God's perfect plan) is the perfect house for us. It will meet all our family needs, is within budget, and is just 3 blocks from the Marcum family. So long story short, we were ready to sign on the dotted line until the real estate agent checked with the owner and he told her he had decided to sell rather than rent (for reasons longer than the Blog website will allow me to post :) But he has said that in two weeks, if the house has not sold, he will be open to renting to us. So right now... my first prayer is that God will place exactly where He wants us, but as God tells us in scripture that we may ask Him for the desires of our hearts, I am praying that this house will not sell in the next two weeks :) and that the owner will be open to renting. Please pray with us that God will place exactly where He wants us in this great city. Thank you for your prayers, they are our most treasured gifts from across the miles :) God bless you all.

Friday, August 4, 2006

The world as we knew it

Well, mark it down, our little boy's mobile :) Sunday night, my son finally decided it was time to try out his legs, and hasn't stopped since. We're slowly but surely moving everything in our house higher and higher to avoid the new height at which he can reach everything!! I'm vaguely remembering a very memorable Christmas tree at the Bewley's one year :) on which there were no ornaments on the bottom three feet or so :) I'm feeling their pain now. But he really is having fun with his new found independence and we are loving watching him grow. I am working on learning how to put video feed on the blog, so hopefully in a few days we'll have some real live footage of the little man in action. Just wanted to pass along the fun news :)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Up and Running

What exciting news!!! We have buildings here in Cochabamba!! We have been so very blessed in the past few weeks... to find two buildings, within budget that are going to meet our needs as a church body. The first building we found is pictured here. We are going to use this facility as a contact center... meaning that each of the men on the team will have an office space here (in the pictures you can see the walls being built to create separate office spaces) and we will have a large room in the back like a conference room that can be used for meetings, bible classes, and other group activities. The first photo is taken from the front door in, and the second from the upstairs (where two offices will be located).. looking down. The construction is actually complete now and we are going to break it in this Sunday by worshipping there, so I will post more pictures next week of the finished product. The beauty of this building as well is that it is located on a main street in Cochabamba known as "El Prado." This street has many main business office buildings, restaurants, and almost every public transportation route passes through town by way of this street. So.... talk about a presence in the city huh? We are so thankful to God for this open door. And then just last week God opened another door as we found another building, probably about 8-10 blocks from the Contact Center to use for our first worship building!!! It has open spaces upstairs and down, which will allow us to use one floor for a common worship area, and the other floor to create classrooms. It's still a work in progress, but we are so excited. It's just so wonderful, I can't even adequately put it into words, to see the hand of God moving, providing, and creating opportunities for us to follow here in His work. Thank you for all your prayers and support of this new church body in Cochabamba.

Playing with JuJu

Nate the great here again... and I wanted to show you all a picture of me and my friend Juju playing at my house. She and her mommy and daddy came over for lunch last week and we had fun playing. The only problem is that I think I came on a little strong at the beginning of our friendship and so now sometimes Juju gets a little scared of me. See... I'm a speed demon in my walker, and Juju is so much fun to chase... and then there was the time that Juju's curls just looked like they would be so much fun to play with that I got a little out of hand... let's just say she didn't have fun at all. So all that to say that, little by little mommy and daddy are trying to teach me that tough love is not always the best way with my friends, especially the ones who are girls. I'm working on it... I promise I'm trying hard!