Two Questions

1. Ever have a picture that is just wrong, but you still really, really like it?

2. How many of you have husbands that wait patiently while you shop? Or do they act as if some wet, slimy creature is crawling up their back as soon as they step foot in the mall?

(Mine is of the patient variety. hooray!)

Christmas Package

A big THANK YOU to Uncle Scotty, Auntie MJ, Mikayla, and "Little Baby" Katelyn (as we call her around here). The two summer outfits you sent for Christmas are the cutest things ever and perfect for our hot Paraguayan Christmas.
Also, thank you to Daddy for throwing stuffed animals in the air in order to get such great smiles out of the girls! (A great tip I stumbled upon somewhere on the internet.)

Christmas Eve

This Christmas Eve we had two special guests...all the way from Peru! They are planning on being missionaries here and are on their survey trip. There was food and fun. The perfect holiday components.

Grilling is serious business in our house!

So is taking pictures! Here are our two "invitados" arguing about who took the best shot.

We had steaks, sausages, peaches and pineapple on the grill. Very good.

My living room doubled as an internet cafe while the food was cooking. :-)

My sister snapped so many pictures we were all being blinded by her flash, but as always, she got some great shops. Photography is slowly taking over our lives!

What I learned on Christmas Day. Part 1.

Sometimes a blurry picture is a good thing. A really good thing.

Opening presents is a lot of fun.

The Hagerman girls have beautiful smiles.

Brenda knows how to decorate a table.

American children wear Crocs.

Christmas decorations look great against a summer sky.

I need (want?) a Flip.

I don't look good in fedoras.

Merry Christmas!

I have beautiful pictures to edit and post for you.

I have delicious recipes to share.

I have great stories to tell.

I have decorations I want to show you.


I ran out of time.


Will you be terribly upset if I continue the merry making for after Christmas?

(Please say it's ok!)

Eat a lot of pie for me! And cookies, and cake! Sing songs, hug kids, open presents, have a wonderful holiday, and I will see you next week. With a LOT of pictures, stories and recipes.

Until then, from my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Dear Santa,
This letter may come as a surprise to you, I'm not sure if you have ever recieved one like it, but as a mother I feel it is my duty to write it.

Please do not come to our house on Christmas.

Allow me to explain...My three year old daughter is terrified of you. In her words: "I just can't like him!"

(I think it has something to do with your beard.)

So deep is her dislike of you that her Daddy is under strict orders to punch you in the nose should you attempt to enter the house. For your own safety, I suggest you stay away.
She may change her mind when she is older, but for now she is convinced that you TAKE presents, instead of BRINGING presents. And that is definitly scary when you're only three years old. You understand, I'm sure.

I'm sorry for any extra trouble this may cause you. We have bought her plenty of presents and her grandparents have as well. Maybe next year?

Until then...



Many times, at the end of the day, I feel like this sunflower. Picked over and done in.
I think that just means I've had lots of love from small hands.

My husband brought home a mixed bouquet of flowers from the fruit market and Fripits enjoyed placing the flowers in different glass jars for me.

I think she did a great job, and my front porch was certainly more cheery thanks to her eager help.


It's official. I'm addicted to large floral print purses.
The more pink - the better.
What do you love?

Blogging Bash

A group of Paraguayan bloggers, (and someone who reads Paraguayan blogs faithfully) got together to eat, chat, and meet each other for the first time.

The table was beautifully decorated, and of course the food was delicious.

The best part, in my opinion, were the very interesting conversations which took place. I won't share all that was talked about, but here are some very interesting things I learned on that night.
  • Parrots can die from being too cold in 80 degree weather.
  • There once upon a time was a car that honked every time it made a left turn.
  • Argentines are very friendly in their country.
  • Peanut butter Twix bars arrive in Curracao once every eight years.
  • I should stock up on the imported Jalapenos in the Stock grocery stores. They won't last forever!
  • A french animated film can actually be very interesting.
  • The pysche hospital in Filadelfia may not be as nice as it sounds.
  • All the imports at Real cost $9.15. (The ones involving chocolate anyway.)

This is all very important information. We should definitly do it again. :-)

Summer Time

It's so hot here.

It's very, very, very hot.

I could go on and on but it would bore you, and unless you've been to Paraguay in the summer you just won't get it.

Here's what I don't do this time of year in Paraguay:


Go for walks.

Wear Christmas sweaters.

Sleep without the AC blasting.

Drink hot liquids, except for coffee because, well, it's NECESSARY.

Here's what I do:

Take (at least) three showers a day.

Drink camel-like amounts of water.

Feed my family fruit, cheese and crackers till about mid-March.

Swim in my parents pool.

Turn the AC on first thing in the morning.

Stay inside. A lot.

Whine. :-)

A new hobby (sorta)

I recently decided that I wanted to try my hand at sewing. Again. So my sister brought over her nice sewing machine to teach me a few tricks of the trade. Of course, I knew this would not be possible with the littles underfoot, so my other sister came to have a craft time with my girls.

They took the supplies outside. Paper plates, tissue paper, glue sticks and paint. The plan was to crumple of the red and green tissue paper into small balls, glue them on a paper plate and wa-la! Christmas wreaths. The girls however, "were not into crumpling tissue paper" as my youngest siter put it. She ended up doing most of the work.

The end result was still pretty cute.

The snack that smiles back...

I recently came back from a short trip to Argentina. The plan was to hit the Wal-Mart there in hopes of getting most, if not all, of my Christmas shopping done. The mission was accomplished. Along with gifts for the girls I was able to buy Lays potatoe chips, Ziploc bags, donuts, and Goldfish crackers. The girls were ecstatic about the crackers, especially The Fripits who loves all animals, even fish. Right now, I'm enjoying the quiet that can come from a bowl full of goldfish crackers. :-)

I love eggs.

Husband: Thank you for making me an omelette on your morning off. What have I done to deserve you? You make me smile.



P.S. It was delicious.

A Royal Decree

Today the Fripits entered my room with her pink blankie wrapped around her shoulders.

"I am King! And this," waving her hand around our master bedroom, "is my castle!"

"That's really cool. I didn't know you were king. I thought you would be a queen."

"No. The queen is in the bathroom."

All righty then.

Maybe the creativity stuff is growing on her. *smile*


Sometimes, when we're feeling especially silly, we cover ourselves in brightly colored smiley face stickers. This seems very funny to the baby of the family, who refuses to take them off and wears the stickers proudly for the rest of the day.

Take it outside

Thanks to an idea from Soule Mama's blog (when I grow up I'm going to take pictures like her) we have been cooking and eating outside. The weather is hot and being cooped up in the kitchen with two small children makes me cooky. Ah! But underneath our mango trees is another matter entirely. It's still hot, but there's more space, there's no table to wipe off, the girls can run around once they are done and we just hose them off. It's working really great so far.

I usually take all the food prep stuff out and we do it all outside. Shred cheese, chop veggies, mix muffins, the girls love this! Thanks Soule Mama!


My three year old has OCD. I'm sure of it.
Life is very neat, tidy and organized for her and when that is somehow disrupted (by say, a younger sister) she emotionally begins to melt down.
I try to encourage creativity and spontanaity with her mainly because I want her to RELAX and ENJOY her life even if it's not clean or organized. We live in South America and organization is not a top priority. Fun is. Noise is. Family is. Closeness is. But organization? Not so much.

Case in point, today I pulled out all the paint and a big piece of poster board for the Frips. She began to paint big blobs of green and white.

Me, "Is that a tree?"
Frips, "No."
Me, "Is that a mango?"
Frips, "No."
Me, "What is it?"
Frips, "Mommy...*insert exasperated sigh*'s paint."


Of course.

We'll keep working on that creativity stuff.


In seven months we are leaving for our first furlough. And I can not wait. Both Husband and I have a bad case of the Furlough-itis. Most of our conversations revolve on what we plan to do, buy and shop for while in the US. It's hard to not mentally and emotionally shut down on the present day life and ministry, but we are trying to stay alert and live in the moment.

Having said that, I am going to list the things I am most looking forward to. :-)

1. Taking my daughters to the library

2. Thrift store shopping with my sister in law

3. Black Friday shopping with my other sister in law

4. Eating at Five Guys Hamburgers in Tampa

5. Taking my daughters to a childrens museum

6. Drinking coffee and reading books at Barnes and Noble bookstore

7. Wal-Mart

8. Doing my grocery shopping online.

9. Driving an automatic car on sane roads with fairly sane drivers

10. Shopping at Trader Joe's

11. Going to Michaels and buying good quality craft supplies for my daughters. (REAL crayons that dont snap if you look at them!!)

12. Clothes shopping for myself. Soooo hard to find decent clothes here.

I realize that after a month or two of US life I will be desperatly missing the sights, sounds and smells of South America. But for now, I do enjoy the occasional day dream about Wal-mart. :-)

Tree House...of sorts.

There once were two little girls who lived in a beautiful house with a very big yard. At the very back of the yard was a circle of 5 banana trees which offered lovely shade. The little girls desperatly wanted to live underneath the banana trees and begged their mother to make them a house. A house where they could host tea parties for all their stuffed and cuddly friends.

Their mother (who secretly loved the idea of playing house under the banana trees) built them a beautiful Girls Only Club House...the only boys allowed were, of course, Daddy and Winnie the Pooh. There were pink bed sheets strung over thick string for a cool, shady roof. A soft colorful quilt as a rug, bright blue throw pillows, and a host of special friends. Celebrity friends such as Barny, Tigger, and the Octopus from Baby Einstein.

The little girls played in this special house for a long time, sipping pretend tea, opening the pretend door for pretend guests, and singing songs.

Their mother played too. And she had a great time on that hot, sticky afternoon. Who knew banana trees could be so much fun?

Many Faces

Oh, my Fripits! You make the world go round for me.

Outdoor Voice

Fripits and I had a screaming contest.

She won.

{Every. Single. Time.}

Fave Friday

1. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans, dinner rolls, sweet potatoe casserole with marshmellow topping, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, strawberry pie, and apple pie.

'Nuff said.

2. I was able to get the house all decoated for christmas, and it looks great! Especially the mantle!

3. A shopping trip planned for later today. I'm not sure if I will find anything, but just a day out with girlfriends sounds nice to me!

4. Watching a group of kids play with my parent's Wii. It's just too much fun to watch people swing at things in the air.

5. A romantic dinner with Brian outside after a long day. He made me Fetuccini Alfredo. pasta a love language?? a random sort of way.

Air conditioning
Fresh flowers on my kitchen table
Twinkle lights
Nikon cameras
Chocolate chips
Cheddar cheese (imported!!)
My laptop
Hanes socks
Lip gloss that tastes like strawberries
My charm bracelet
Funny home videos of my girls
Family to share the holidays with
A new purse
A shopping trip planned for tomorrow
A freezer full of cooked food
New colorful serving bowls for Christmas
The Cosby show on DVD
Friendly neighbors
Christmas tablecloth

Happy Thanksgiving!

Say what?

In Paraguay you're not allowed to ride your bicycles upside down.

Remember that next time you're here.

Hot Dogs

Thank you Husband for buying me really big hot dogs. (I like mine with corn on it, just like the Paraguayans!) And a really big thank you for not caring if I eat the WHOLE thing REALLY fast. It doesn't seem to bother you that I can out eat most men. And for that I am eternally grateful.