Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Month That Flew...

By so very fast...

It is almost like January did not exist...but oh it did.  It flew by much to my chagrin, but it was a wonderful month long vacation.  Every January since my childrens' births, we have spent several days at the beach house.  However, for various reasons I decided this year we would spend January in the city and just enjoy being with friends and family and doing things around the city.  In hindsight, I am so very glad with that decision and know it was the right one.  While I don't truly rest while at home, with to do lists yelling for attention, we managed to do a lot in one month.  We worked some and had many wonderful outings and even squeezed in a three day trip to the interior to visit relatives.

Here is our vacation in pictures...

Noah playing with his little buddies who live next door.  His first time playing video games!

Our Chloe loves to takes selfies...this day we went to the park as a family, then lunch at the Mall.

Introducing little nephew, C., to our friend, Juliana.  We had a sweet afternoon tea with my sister-in-law. 

A day at SESC, an activity center that has branches all over Brazil.  As a registerd teacher at a private school, I have rights to "carteirinha" the card you need to access all the activities for free or very much reduced costs.  It is a wonderful facility and also has exhibitions open to the public all summer.  Because our January was marked by almost daily rain showers, I took the children several times and they never tired of the indoor exhibition of endless activities.

This day I felt very brave and decided to take my little 3 year old nephew too.  I was exhausted at the end of the day keeping track of three busy children in the huge activity room but it was worth it to watch them having fun and running off endless amounts of energy!

This days outing was to yet another beautiful park with my friend Vani, and her son.  We spent a wonderful few hours talking while the children once again played out bundles of energy.

Ice cream for all at the end of a hot afteroon.

 Yet ANOTHER rainy day (it literally rained almost our entire vacation) found us back at SESC on the weekend with daddy.

Chloe learning to skateboard!

Soaking her feet and learning to play the guitar.  Think she might take after her daddy?

Noah informed us at the age of two that he wants to be a fireman (bombeiro) and this summer had the fun opportunity to get in two different fire trucks when we literally ran into firemen at two different parks on two different days.  he was in little boy heaven!  I was amazed by the firemens patience in answering his countless questions and showing him almost everything they carry on the trucks.


A wonderful day with my precious friend, Livia.  We spent the day at the park so the children could play and we spent all.day.long talking and talking and talking.  My teacher friends and I literally see each other in January (summer vacation) and July (winter vacation), so our times are special and rare!  This day we had a little friend with us and Chloe spent the day with her "big sister."

Chloe's very special outing with her "big sister," Amanda.  She was treated to lunch, a movie or two and playing at the Mall playground.

Back at the SESC, this time with four other mommies and between us 11 kids!  It was wild but a wonderful afternoon where we once again had to find creative ways to burn overwhelming amounts of energy on a very rainy day!

A fun Saturday afternoon outing with Tio Wellington, Tia Tati and the two little boys.  A one hour presentation full of clowns, singing and laughter!

On our last week of vacation, I finally got up the courage to take a little road trip alone, with my children, for the first time ever in Brazil!  I started out with my GPS (which very soon became useless!) and Waze, praying my phone credit would last at least until I made it to the interior.  Destination was the home of a cousin of my husband's.  We made it safe and sound and had a wonderful, wonderful three days with Adriana and her family.   They received us so well and just blessed us and loved on us the entire time we were there.  I finally rested.  Emotionally and spiritually and physically.  It was a much needed few days away.

Noah and Chloe with their newest favorite bombeiro!!!

My children spent three days in the pool and I spent three days in the shade...and still burnt to a crisp.  Sigh.  Story of my life.

After three days in the sun, my children were just.very.brown!

Big bummer for the VW bug bus that caught fire in the middle of the intersection one day as we headed home from the pool, but a grand show for my children as they were able to see their firemen heros we had just met at the park in action.  Real.live.fire.action.  Noah was beside himself with excitement!!!

On our last day in Indaiatuba, we had a picnic.  In the rain.  Tried to fly kites.  Tried to fish.  It was simply marvelous. 

And then we headed home.  Back to School on January 29th.  2nd semester graduate school for daddy.  3rd grade for Miss Chloe.  Pre-school for Mr. Noah.  Third year teaching American High School in Brazil for mommy.  This semester is American Literature and may prove to be my biggest personal challenge yet!  However, as I have survived Debate, Speech, British Literature, College Preparation, American History, Fine Arts and Health, I think I will survive American Literature!!!

We continue to be blessed.  So blessed.  God is so good.  All the time.  It is overwhelming to see His continued provision and protection over our lives.  Sometimes He doesn't allow us even a clue to how He is caring for us.  Sometimes He shows us enough to humble us.  I had a truly bizarre experience the other day that could have very well ended in myself and my dear friend being very seriously injured.  However, by God's gracious hand, we were spared from danger by a manner of 20 seconds.  I parked my car in front of the pharmacy, the entire front consisting of class windows and doors reaching from ceiling to floor.  I hugged my friend goodbye and she left to visit a friend in the hospital next door and I entered the pharmacy to purchase a medication.  about 20 seconds after we hugged goodbye and parted ways, the glass door we had been standing in front of literally shattered in a billion pieces, causing a horrific bomb like sound and sending glass everywhere, including all over my parked car.  There is no explanation for the explosion, but I believe it was a little sign from my heavenly Father of how He is taking care of me...every single second of every single day.  Wow!  And to boot, my car was completely unscratched.  Not.a.single.scratch.anywhere.  Go God!!!

Have a blessed February and know that His angels have been given the command to surround you with His love and protection.

Because of Him, Jama