Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Father's Day #1 2010

One of the fun perks of living in another country is celebrating holidays in your current country and in your home country. This past week we celebrated the bolivian Father's Day. Nathan's school had a Father's Day party (you should see four year old Bolivians dancing "Singing in the rain" with their daddies... arms out, elbows back, thumbs up, knees bent, head back, tongue out and all :).
Then on Sunday the Sunday school teachers at church put together a little program for the fathers of the congregation. It was super sweet... a song about how the kiddos want to be like their daddies. Nathan was game for dressing up, Grant... not so much :) My boys have such a great daddy! Gary has taught me so much about being a parent just by example. He is intentional about parenting our boys, teaching them how to be men of God and for that I am so grateful! He has a great balance of teaching and fun :) these boys LOVE tackle, tickle, and wrestle time with their daddy! And thank goodness for the daddy with three little boys, because this mommy just doesn't have it within her to be all that three little boys need in the rough-house department :)
Gary, thank you for being not only the man of my dreams, but the amazing man in my daily life, loving our boys, sacrificing for them, and teaching them Godly ways. I am so very blessed to be on this journey of parenting our boys with you!
Nathan all dressed and ready to go :)
Grant... trying to figure out, "What is it exactly I'm supposed to be doing?"
Even the girls got in on the dress-up (Michaela and Jubilee and then Carmen and her daughter Paula)
This is what happens when you try to catch a picture of two crazy little four year olds at the same time... the back of Nathan's head...
Now the back of Mateo's head...
Well, no smiles, but at least they're both facing forward :)
Feliz Dia del Padre!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Loved on...

So if you remember right, and haven't slept since then (as my mom likes to say :) we had a super fun birthday week this past year for Nathan... but as my birthday rolled around I was not expecting a birthday week... just some fun time with friends, a date with my hubby, and the excuse to eat some fun birthday sweets (although I don't really wait for an excuse to eat sweets :). It all started on Friday night before my birthday when I got to go out to a super fun (and long, since in Bolivian style we waited almost an hour for our food) dinner with these beautiful women! God has blessed me tremendously with their friendships and it was a truly wonderful way to kick-off the birthday festivities :)
After dinner we tried to get a good picture, but Cochabambinos don't really do all that great at digital photography... but at least we remember what a fun night it was :) with Angie, Beth, Julie, Denise, and Carolina (hiding on the back row :)

Saturday was filled with a birthday lunch with my hubby, a movie, and a midnight serenade from the ladies at church... we were sitting in the living room watching tv and we heard sweet voices from outside on the street... so we went to the balcony and there below were a group of women from church singing beautiful songs about birthdayness... what a fun surprise :) after they finished their musical debut, they came up for hot chocolate and cake... it was a great memory made!
They made their exit around 2 in the morning and the next day was a craziness of activity... it started with a ladies ministry meeting before church (at 8:30) where we ate yummy strawberry birthday cake thanks to Julie (b/c it's never too early in the day to eat birthday cake :) then we had church service and a church members meeting afterwards... around 3:00 we headed down to the lake to eat a late lunch with a family from church who wanted to take me out for my birthday, and around 6:30 we made it back home... talk about a long day (not just for me, but for my boys :) but they did great and it was a fun time!

At our late lunch, Gary and the boys took a boat ride around the lake :)
And if you know me well, you know that my love language is gift giving... I love giving gifts, getting gifts, and planning gifts :) My friends and family here pulled out all the stops in speaking my love language to me this year... wanna see? :)

Beautiful earrings made by Renata, one of our sisters here at church.

Look at this precious picture frame (made from recycled newspaper) of the ladies at church... on the back they all signed it and wrote sweet messages to me... talk about a treasure huh?

My sweet friend Beth thought a birthday present that I wouldn't have to pack up might be better this year :) so a cheese cake showed up at my house in her hands, and talk about yummy! I joked with her that I may not have to pack it in my luggage, but it definitely got packed onto my backside :)

You can't go wrong with yummy lotion and chocolate from Carolina... and this picture would've included the yummy chocolate cookies that she made too... but they got eaten too fast for a picture :)
Sweet Sonia (our househelp) is always so precious to bring me flowers on my birthday... and this year was no exception... I had forgotten just how much I love fresh sunflowers!
These beauties are a combination of flowers from my sweet hubby, Jenny (our househelp) and teammates... aren't they lovely?
And this picture shows one of the most thoughtful gifts I think I've ever received... my sweet friend Angie put together this package for me... a sweet necklace made from 5 Bs. (a story for just her and I), pictures of special memories (get togethers, coffee dates, baby showers, and birthday parties), and do you see all those sweet notes? She put together tons and tons of notes, things that she's learned about me and from me and special memories we've made over the past few years... all I have to say is, talk about feeling treasured! This is one of those gifts that I will remember, value and treasure for years and years to come!
Katie knew that you can't go wrong with Cadbury eggs for birthday presents for Laura :)

A special birthday package from Mom and Dad filled with fun magazines, yummy candy, kool-aid and Ranch dressing!

And Denise knew that you can never have enough yummy lotion or coffee cups in this house :)

To all my friends and family who wrote, called, or spent time with me face to face, thank you for all that you did to make this birthday such a special one. You made me feel treasured beyond compare! It's my last that I will spend here in this place that we've made home and it was a wonderful memory that I will carry with me wherever I go!