Mom's Blog

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Three months

Our initial goal was to take the first three months to get our new home set up and to get established in Santa Cruz. How have we done?
Our house was furnished after about 4 weeks. We have all the basic furniture we need and now little by little will add homey touches such as bringing back some of our paintings, pictures, tea pots, etc.
We have gotten into a routine with Abuelita who lives with us. Cooking the things she eats - including homemade soup everyday. Working on finding things she can do to keep busy. She has specific tasks she enjoys doing for us and this helps me a lot!
We have visited quite a few churches, talked to many church friends, but we haven't found for sure the church that we feel we should become active in. We realize now that three months is not enough time to make that decision.
Daniel has begun playing tennis and racquet ball on a regular basis.
We have bought a car, something we didn't think we'd do until after January. It was getting too expensive with taxis, becuase the city has become so large and family and friends live quite far away.
So what's for the next few months? We both feel we need something else to do to fill our time. Should it be a business opportunity for Daniel? I continue to want to explore ministry possibilities or organizing my time for writing or music.
But right now: We are here for our family. I write this at Andy's house, having arrived last night after a full day of traveling. Tonight I'll make fresh "Sonso" and Andy is preparing "Lechon" for dinner tomorrow. We are awaiting MIguel's arrival yet today.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. And as the family prepares to gather in small groups all over the country may we remember to be thankful. God bless us all!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Looking out Kelly's bedroom window on Mason Street I could almost see the bird shiver in the cold. The newly built nest with its anxious mother perched there made for a desolate scene as I watched both bird and its home become covered in snowy sleet. Not a pleasant sight. Yet it is one I saw several times living there. Michigan is known for its fickle weather. Yet with the first signs of spring there is the joy of watching the familiar robin build its nest. One was always built in that skraggly pine in the back yard. But this time, the cold and wet smothered the joy of spring. As long as I lived on Mason Street I watched for the returning robin and prayed that its nesting would not be in vain.
From our bedroom on Curwood Road I watched the squirrels scamper around the huge oak that shaded our yard. The perfect spot for a bird house! We purchased one our second year there and every year thereafter a little family moved in early in the spring. I often awoke to the chirping of the young creatures housed there. Much better than the noisey alarm.
I had never noticed the birds when we lived in Santa Cruz years ago even though we lived close to the Rio Pirari, probably because I was too busy running after three active boys and quiet bird watching moments didn't exist.
But now, just outside our bedroom window there is a lovely sight. A graceful yet very nervous chalky -blue bird has engineered a small nest in the fronds of the palm trees gracing our property. I noticed the bird there on Sunday. On Monday the nest was finished. If I sit quietly I can watch the anxous mother. A nest, a home.
Condo number 38 in ForteVentura is our new home, and yet I keep talking about going "home" next week, back to the USA. I wonder if the blue bird has come to help me realize that this nest is now my home.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

33 years

Last night Daniel and I celebrated 33 years of marriage. Took Abuelita to stay at Ruben's house so we could have a night out. Graciela had roasted pork, bananas, and fresh corn waiting for us. Later that evening we headed out to a steak house we had seen and were awaiting an opportunity to enjoy fine wine and great steak. I won't tell you the price, becuase I know Andy will jump on a plane and come immediately, giving up his steak house in Delaware! Our romantaic evening ended with us packaging Miguel and Kate's wedding gift. We'll probably redo our romantic dinner upon arrival back in Bolivia. On January 9 we can celebrate our Bolivian marriage anniversary!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

As the shadows deepen...

She's always been a woman of great faith and a testimony of God's grace. She holds up each family member in prayer each day and earnestly hopes for God's direction in each life. Her battle with glaucoma has been a long one, raging for more than 5 years since the first dreadful attack. Even with several operations and other procedures she has only been able to see very little wi th her left eye. The right is gone. Lately she has only seen hazy shadows or bits of sunlight. She has been told by her doctor that her eye sight will never improve and possibly worsen. We put drops in her eyes every morning and night with hopes of maintaining correct eye pressure, but this does not help her sight. Abuelita Centellas now is in almost total darkness and this saddens and discourages her. Its hard to understand why these things happen, but we all know they do and that the real winner is the one who can still lift head and heart in prayer.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wisdom 101

It's been a while since i have read the book of Proverbs (just after Psalms in the Old Testament). A friend once told me I should read a chapter of it a day, since there are enough to read through the book every month. The chapters aren't particularly organized by themes or precepts, but if you want some solid advice for every kind of situation imaginable, check out Proverbs. It deals with wisdom and where to find it first of all. But it also has bits of wisdom that if only we would all put into practice the world would be a much better place. I won't try to copy out some of my favorites here, but there is enough solid advice here to match a masters in psychology, sociology, or interpersonal relationships of any kind.
A verse I have used so many times and have recommended to others is, "Trust in the LOrd with all your heart, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path." How often we think or act without really considering what God would have us do or think and then later, we wonder why things go wrong. Take a read, and see what I mean.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Weddings and other hollidays

David and Veronica were married last weekend. In Bolivia, church ministers and priests do not have any civil authority to marry and so all couples have to present themselves to a justice of the peace to be officially wed. Here, the custom is to have the civil ceremony a day before the church wedding, the church service then being a ceremony of seeking God's blessing on the already established union. So last Friday we went to Veronica's house where the justice of the peace read the Bolivian laws concerning marriage, and David and Veronica had to sign in the civil registry along with witnesses who confirm their identities and seriousness in regard to marriage. (I'm having a hard time wording this in English) They were then presented the certificates of marriage and the official Bolivian Family Registry. I found it interesting that the judge read aloud the laws regarding marriage.
Saturday night was the church wedding with the traditional gown, formal attire. They had a ring bearer and a little boy who carried a new Bible which was to be their family Bible. The ceremony was cited for 7:00. It began at 9 :00 with the arrival of the bride. She was beautiful and David was beaming with pride and joy at her all of the time.
Reception followed in a lovely setting - a huge thatched patio decorated with lovely white streamers and flowers. Not too much different than an American wedding reception.

Other holidays - it seems that American traditions creep into every corner of the world. With Pepsi and Coca Cola worldwide, why not other money- making holidays? So last night we had Halloween in our condominium. The children of the area had a little party in the community playground here and then made their way around the neighborhood calling 'trick or treat' or in Spanish calling for dulcies (candies) The costumes were the same, witches, pirates, fairies, as were the smiles as they received candies in their orange plastic pumkins. How I missed Valerie and Novali on this special night.