Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Calling all Prayer Warriors... again

HUGE Prayer Request to follow... As many of you know I'm planning on heading to Brazil next week. Continent of Great Cities is putting on a women's missionary conference (much like the Come Before Winter conferences). It will be so much fun, assuming we can get there. That is where the prayer request comes in. The four of us ladies traveling to the conference from Cochabamba chose to go with Lloyd Aereo Boliviano (airline) because they were almost $150 cheaper. But now are wishing we had chosen otherwise because our flight has been cancelled and we're at a loss as to what to do. Our travel agent is going to try and get us on another airline, but 3-4 days before travel, and with everyone getting bumped from their flights, that might be a miracle. And I have all faith that God can make it happen. I have been so looking forward to this chance to get away and fellowship with other missionary women and learn from their experiences while getting to share our own, but feel a little attacked by Satan right now. So I'm asking for prayers that we can find seats on another flight, or that another solution will show itself. Thank you for praying with me for a miracle!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Queen of packages

I have to say that my mom has earned the title of Queen of packages hands down!!! Since my first days in college far from home she has always out done herself. I remember countless packages during my days at Harding filled with yummy snacks, Clinique (hard to find in Searcy, AR), and one time even fall leaves from the east coast that I was sorely missing in the non-existent fall of the South.

This week my mom maintained her title (and brought my sister along as runner-up :) sending not only Valentine's Day packages, but Birthday goodies too! And when I say goodies I mean goodies! Mom, thank you for remembering not only the big things, but the little things too! As I sit here watching my new Everybody Loves Raymond season, and my American Idol Best and the Worst DVD savoring my gummy peach and grapefruit candies and drinking my Starbucks coffee (hey why wait, you might as well enjoy it all together!) I am reminded of how blessed I am to have a family that loves me dearly and knows me well enough to know what will bring a smile to my face across the miles :) I also have to say a huge thank you to my Dad, who through his countless hours of work, continues to support my mom's habit :) and through his words always continues to affirm me. You three are a treasure of a family, and I am and always will be blessed to be your daughter, sister, and friend!

Where did it go?

My precious Nathan is growing up. I watch him changing day to day, growing taller and taller, talking more and more, mimicking everyone around him :) (for better or worse :) and think how amazing he is. I thought to myself just today, there is no way that beautiful little boy can be mine... that I would be so blessed to be his mommy!

Every night Gary spends bathtime with Nathan and then passes him off to me for the dirty work of putting him to sleep :) Usually he drinks his milk while we sing songs and say prayers (which I have to get better at remembering to do!!) and as the songs continue on, his little eyes get heavy and we rock in the rocking chair until he's down for the count.

But tonight after songs and lots of rocking my little man was still pretty wiggly, so I said good-night, received a very wet and slobbery Nathan kiss and put him in his bed. As I leaned down to kiss him good-night one last time, thinking I would rub his back for a little while, or continue on with our night-night songs, my precious baby looked up at me with sleepy eyes and says... chau (aka in English, see you later mom... what did you think? that I was going to say that he said I love you mommy? One day :)

So needless to say I took my leave. And as I sit here listening over the monitor to my big boy rolling around in his bed, putting himself to sleep, I have to think to myself, how did he grow up so fast? Where did the time go?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

You know you're in Cbba when...

You know that you are officially in Cochabamba when you sit in your car at an intersection, stopped, and yet cars in your lane of traffic, cars coming the other way, and cars crossing the intersection continue along their merry way. And as you sit there watching the continual flow of cars, you think to yourself, man I sure didn't think I was color blind... because last time I checked, that traffic light is RED! :)

Friday, February 16, 2007

What is it about a haircut?

Well in true Bolivian fashion I waited 45 minutes today at the salon for the man who cuts my hair to arrive - even though I had made an "appointment" :) I put that word in quotes because time is used so... how should I say it... loosely here, and I still struggle to adapt. When I make an appointment for 4:00, and at 4:45 Fabio (yes I know I had to kind of chuckle the first time he introduced himself as well) finally arrives, I have to remember, this is life here. Adjust Laura, take a step back, read a magazine, talk to the people around you, and take a deep breath. Today it worked. I wasn't mad, I wasn't irritated, and I was even in a good mood when we left. All that to say, maybe just maybe, this time driven, schedule oriented, list making, organizational crazy woman is learning to adapt to her surroundings :) So I walked out of the salon not only feeling great about my haircut (I so love getting my hair cut!) but also feeling good that maybe just maybe today was a sign that I'm growing. And hey, a great haircut for 30 Bs. (not even 4 dollars) is worth the wait :)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

You gotta see this....

So this is what we've decided parents do when they don't have cable :) Nathan can thank his daddy for lending him the handsome Clark Kent glasses. At least now we know that if he has to wear glasses one day, he'll still be just as cute as ever :)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

It's the thought... right?

Have you ever had one of those ideas, a vision of what something would look like as a finished product and somehow it just didn't pan out?

Well, a few months ago when i posted about needing children's medicines I had no idea that so many friends and loved ones would come to our rescue! I think I could open up a small pharmacy if I needed to :) and that is a wonderful feeling as a mommy to know that we have what we need to take care of Nathan!

So I started brain storming in my mind of a way to post to our blog thanking everyone who sent packages... and I thought... I'll post a big smily picture of Nathan saying, "this is the face of a child who knows there is plenty of Tylenol in the closet for owies, booboos, and new teeth coming in!" I thought it would be fun. I thought it would be a good way to say thank you... I thought it would be easy. But what I didn't remember is our kiddos did not sign the cooperation clause upon birth, there is nothing in Nathan's contract as my son that says, when mommy has a vision I will do what I can to make it happen! :) So last week when I sat down to capture the perfect smily picture of my precious son... this is what happened.

Okay, so there is one picture that has a slight resemblance of a smile. And you now can be assured that my son has all 10 fingers and a mouth full of teeth. But alas, no smily picture that I was hoping for.

So it appears my words will have to suffice... I want to say a HUGE thank you to all who have sent packages to us! You filled them not only with medicine with Nathan, but goodies for mommy and daddy too, taco soup seasoning (and yum it was good!), chapstick (always a winner), eye drops, TUMS (huge winner :), candy, magazines to read (I had no idea that Guideposts was a good read... but it really is!), lotions, tea bags and so much more. There were toys for Nathan (which by the way we're having a hard time sharing... which means he LOVES them!) and gummy fruit flavored snacks that Nathan is putting his "please" and "more" signing to VERY good use to request (which by the way are a great great great padding to packages that have a few empty spaces to fill!).

We have felt so loved and cared for over the past few months with every trip to the post office. We have received packages from old friends, new friends (who knew there are actually people out there reading this thing :) and old friends that we haven't had a chance to talk to in years. Please know that this is our way of saying thank you with all our hearts, not only for the goodies, but for showing us how much we are cared about and prayed over by you and your families! God bless you all!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Nathan's update :)

Well folks, how is everyone back home? I thought that I would show you a few new pictures of me so that you can see how I am growing up big... and like Mommy says, a little crazy :) Mommy says to tell everyone that we miss you! These are pictures of me and Lucy. We sure do have fun playing in the dirt and running around the back yard together, but sometimes I have to tell her "No, No, No" when she tries to jump on me, or give me kisses that I don't want :) She even lets me pour dirt all over her, and doesn't complain like Mommy does :) Lucy is so much fun to play with!

Me and Lucy LOVE to get dirty :)

That's a Lucy kiss.

This is the pouring dirt part I told you about...

This picture is from this morning. See yesterday I took an amazing nap (almost four hours) and so I fooled Mommy into thinking I had made the two nap a day - to - one nap a day switch. But at 10:30 this morning when I started whining, carrying around my milk, and holding onto her legs, I thought I had made myself clear... I'm TIRED mommy. But apparently I need to work harder on the talking thing, which by the way Mommy's a speech therapist... I mean you think she'd understand me :) But she didn't quite get it and so I had to and curl up in the recliner until she carried me upstairs to my bed. She'll learn one of these days :)

Man I sure am cute when I'm asleep :)

Talk about influence...

So there are alot of things that I have seen or witnessed in our time here that speak to the influence that the United States has on other countries and cultures throughout the world. Whether it's trade agreements, economic influence, imported goods, or fashion trends... it is always present. But today definitely takes the cake. As I sit here typing at my desk, there is a construction crew in the lot next to ours that is building a new house. Now we all know that construction crews and music go hand in hand, I mean what else do they have to keep them entertained while they do work? Watching TV could be a little hazardous to the health while holding a hammer or saw :) We in the Bull house have all gotten used to the hammering, sawing, and general noise coming from next door. But today, when above all the noise I heard Olivia Newton John and John Travolta singing back and forth "You're the one that I want, you are the one a one... oooh oooh oooh honey, the one that I want..." and you all know the rest from classic slumber party movie Grease, I had to laugh. Here I am in Bolivia, South America, and yet Grease, more generally, the American culture lives on! And although it's not the national anthem... I won't lie to you... if you had been sitting here beside me you would have heard some serious singing coming from this proud American :)

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Working the cuteness

So... as Gary sat with me during Nathan's bathtime and I recounted our day, I was sad to have to say that Nathan got two "spankings" today. Usually that is not the case... but oh the attitude that emerged today... well, let me paint the picture...

Nathan woke up super early this morning and so was ready for a nap as I hit the whining, fussing wall of mommy toleration. So as we're rocking and he's finishing his milk I make the move to the shoulder for burping maneuver and he won't put his head on my shoulder. Now usually this is a short little "game" that he and I play, him lifting his head up to smile at me and me saying "lay down Nathan" and usually he minds. But today he decided to use his favorite word instead... NO! This word works wonders for him when he's out back with Lucy our puppy and she's jumping on him, or playing to rough. He walks his little squatty body around the back yard swishing his finger at her and saying "No, No, No!" Super cute, today... NOT so super cute! So we started off the morning with a spanking for telling mommy NO which is totally not allowed!

What you have to know at this point is that Nathan is super funny when he realizes he's in trouble. I guess I have the mommy... "You did not just do that" look down pretty well, because when he sees it cross my face, he grins really big and starts this sweet little nervous laugh, kind of a "if I smile real big and giggle real cute, maybe it'll get me out of trouble" act. So needless to say, disciplining gets harder and harder by the minute for me as I try to be serious amidst the cuteness.

Nathan's second "spanking" (and by spanking I mean small swat on the leg, so no worries that we've taken to seriously spanking a less than two year old) came at the point in the day where he thought it would be a good idea to spank mommy after she told him no for something or other. Yeah... well you can just imagine how well that went over with the mommy. Enter "spanking" number two. But again, with the big smile and little nervous giggle.

I am only imagining that this will get harder and harder to do as the years go on and his personality/sense of humor continue to develop. Lord help me!!!... to be the mommy that I need to be for Nathan, and the strength to know when I need to leave the room for a second, not out of anger... but to hide my smile and laughter at how precious he really is, when he's supposed to be in big trouble :) As usual, I welcome suggestions from fellow mommies in toddler, or post toddler land! :) May God bless us all!