Black Friday

I've always heard of Black Friday and the craziness involved so I decided that this year I would have to see it for myself.

My Christmas shopping is finished and I didn't need anything, but curiosity got the best of me.
So at 4:40 am my alarm went off and I dragged myself out of bed. It was a cultural experience that I didn't want to miss, so off I went to Target.

I arrived five minutes after the store had opened and all the shopping carts were gone, the parking lot was full and the line to the electronics department was halfway down the store.

I saw a man with three huge screen TV's in his cart.

One lady had three large boxes stacked on top of each other and was nudging them through the store with her foot. Bless her heart, they moved an inch at a time. She's probably still there. No shopping carts, remember.

I saw women talking to other women on the cel phones. "I'm in aisle three getting the Barbie Hair Dressing thingie. How many did you want? Two or Five?"

I grabbed Candyland because I had to buy something on Black Friday, but by the time I wandered up to the cash register the line was quite extensive, so I put it back.

As I was walking out of the store I overhead a woman tell a man that she had been in line since 3:30 am.

In New England on a rainy day when it's 44 degrees outside.

(If you ever hear of me doing such a thing, please call the loony bin and let them know I've escaped.)

All in all, I went to one store for thirty minutes and bought nothing.

I am glad I went, I'm glad I saw what the craziness is like. Walking through Target with long lines and huge amounts of people I realized that shopping on Black Friday is actually quite similar to grocery shopping in Asuncion, Paraguay.

I'm just glad I don't have to get up at five in the morning to do that every week.

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm very thankful that my daughter dresses herself in a creative manner. Flowered dress, striped stockings, and black patent leather shoes.
Why not?
And tomorrow I hope you eat lots of pie.
Why not?
Happy Thanksgiving.

The Lord's Day

My Sunday involved:

  • Getting dressed for church in a hotel room while Little Einsteins blared on the TV.
  • Eating breakfast (blueberry muffin and hot chocolate) in the car.
  • Seeing old friends from college at church
  • Watching Brian carry in a casket after church (a church member passed away last Thursday and the funeral was today.)
  • Climbing over the backseat of the car looking for dental floss while driving on the highway.
  • Chaning five horribly stinky diapers at several different locations.
  • Arriving at new church smelling like mini-van. (and like horribly stinky diapers.)
  • Watching my two year old throw up all over the dinner table of the family we are staying with tonight.

You just never know what a Sunday will hold.

How was your Lord's Day?


I've learned that apples in New Hampshire taste really good. Especially if you pick them yourself.

I've learned that when everything seems different, new, strange, and out of control the best thing I can do is smile and be a Mommy. If I make it through a day without rolling my eyes at my kids, I've had a good day.

I've learned that with your third pregnancy you show really, really soon. Like, at six weeks. Yikes. And now, almost six months pregnant I am very obviously with child.

Seriously, my belly is huge.

(Pictures coming soon, I just have to decide where I want to have them taken. A field? A construcion site? By an old barn? Any thoughts...?)

I've learned that the United States of America is a very beautiful country, everywhere I look I'm surrounded by pretty things. It can be overwhelming at times and I have to say I miss searching for beauty through my camera lense.

I've learned that Brian's extended family is great and have really enjoyed getting to know his cousins/aunts/uncles more.

I've learned that Thanksgiving is the best time of year to watch Food Network. It sends me running to the kitchen searching for something, anything, seasoned with sage, thyme and butter.

I've been reminded once again of the wonderful support team we have back here in the US. So many people are praying for us and it's good to know we're not alone.

The things I'm learning have been very pleasant.

Except for one thing...

Last night, I learned there is a mouse that roams my kitchen counters.

I don't like that at all.


Crickets is exactly what I hear when I sit down to type up a new blog post. One would think that I would find many exciting new things to write about as I wander about in this country which vaguely reminds of me what I think living on another planet might be like.

But no, just the sound of chirping crickets.

And where are all my pictures you ask?

Well, first the laptop made me want to puke so I ignored her. This apparently offended her and once I was feeling much better and ready to jump back into the internet world she went kablooie, refused to turn on. She is now in the hands of a computer genius and I miss her.

So, I'm sorry little Laptop. Really. Please forgive me, I need you.

(And remember it wasn't me that didn't like you, it was the baby.)

Quick family update:

We are in the midst of missions conference season which I love, we meet lots of great people and time flies by. However, we also are exposed to germs all over the east coast and it seems we have been sick since we landed.

Get me back to Paraguay! Quick! I need to be healthy again!

Baby #3 is growing and kicks more than any other baby so far. I'm preparing myself for a very busy little one and looking forward to making the leap into the We Have So Many Children They Outnumber Us stage. We couldn't be happier.
For those who have asked, we are planning another home birth, this time in Florida. I was in a slight panic about giving birth without a hammock (is that even possible?) and my brother offered to build a frame of some sort so that I can have my hammock.
Giving birth while lying down in a bed creeps me out.

So I'm glad that's settled.

And now, back to the crickets.

No words. Just trying to catch up.

Clearwater Beach,
You are beautiful.

Taste of home

New Hampshire is nice.



there are not many Latinos.

And I will admit, it makes me feel out of place when I look like everyone else around me.

I need the rich colors of South America, the soft lilting sound of Spanish, and, believe it or not, the poverty.

I miss cobblestone roads, cows on the streets, and fresh cow's milk delivered to my door twice a week.

With me feeling a little down about not being home (and by home I mean anywhere south of Florida) Super Hero Husband set out to find me some Harina Pan for my favorite comfort food.


He is successful and brings home two bags, white Mexican cheese, and ham.

I make the dough, pat it into that familiar round shape, drop them in hot oil and finish them off in the oven.

I spread way too much butter inside, sprinkle cheese on and stuff with ham.

I close my eyes and take a bit.

First, a crunch.

Then, the soft gooey inside.

I'm home.

Right now...

Right now I'm watching Emeril on Food Network and he's making me (the baby?) hungry.

Must be time for chocolate.

My girls are playing with the neighbors, a family of 12 children all well behaved and enjoyable to be around. Their mom is my hero.

I'm 12 weeks pregnant, first tri is over. Can I get a huzzah?

I went for a walk this morning in the cool, crisp fall air. Is summer over? All 12 days of it? Really?

And because I cant post without a picture that cutie up there is my niece, Katelyn, who will be turning 1 very soon.

My camera isn't making me sick anymore though my skills are rusty.

What are you doing right now?

Grandpas Playground

My father-in-law is an accountant with his own office. An office full of toys, snacks, and movies. My girls think "going to work" is something akin to "going to Disney World."

Elena told one of her little friends at church that she had spent the whole afternoon at Grampy's office. Her friend says, "That doesn't sound like fun at all."

Elena's eyes lit up and she exclaimed, "It is!! There are toys and snacks and other little kids (her cousins) and even movies!"

No all her friends want to go to Grandpas office.

Most people don't enjoy a trip to the accountant's office, but my girls think its the most fun in the world.

I'm pregnant...

...and that's why I haven't been around much. I'm seven weeks pregnant with Baby #3, also known as Baby Surprise. A good suprise of course.

My "all day sickness" has become "afternoon sickness" and I feel my energy returning. It seems awfully early in the pregnancy to think that those symptoms would have subsided, so we're taking it day by day.

On mylist of things that made me want to hurl was the computer. I would look at it and gag. I'm not kidding, it was so weird. I just couldn't bring myself to sit in front of it and blog. I do feel better now and the computer doesn't seem offended.

So, I'm back. At least for now!

I'm alive and well.

I'm in New England enjoying all the perks this part of the country has to offer. Namely: coffee, donuts, family, and the Sox.

We have moved into our new house and are starting to feel at home in our new little place. I should be back to blogging regularly soon. Goodness knows, I miss it. I have a lot of pictures to show you, and some funny stories to tell as well.

I'll be back!

Where I post lots of pictures of burgers

Our first night in Tampa we ate at the only place we could eat. Five Guys Hamburgers and Fries. It was the right thing to do.

A large order of cajun fries, because....they are the reason french fries were invented. I'm sure of it.

Bacon Cheeseburger with lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, mustard, mushrooms and pickles, please.

We have eaten there twice already, but I think I may need to go back for a third burger. That's right, need.

Love at first sight

We introduced our girls to donuts.
Dunkin' Donuts that is.
Their Yankee daddy wouldn't have it any other way.

(The fact that he is a Yankee does not mean he roots for the Yankees. It's Red Sox all the way, folks.)

Now that I've cleared that up...


DSC_0138 (2)


Elena thought they were okay.

But Abbie has fallen completly in love.

This comes as no surprise to anyone that knows her.


Her Daddy is so proud.

Bloggy Slump

I haven't been around in the blogging world much because the whole "moving to another country" thing did me in. It appears that the blogging department of my head has shut down until further notice, or at least until I can finally, finally unpack my suitcases next week in New Hampshire.

We've also been busy catching up.



And one more thing...I can't believe how neat and tidy the roads are here.

Look! Everyone is in a lane! There are no potholes! No donkeys! No old cars!

It's weird.

(And kinda boring.)


Miami - The capital city of Latin America


While waiting for our lost luggage in Miami (did I mention that before??) Brian went for a walk around the hotel just to see what was out there. Maybe he didn't want to be in a small room with four women, or maybe he was hungry, but either way he made a great discovery. A small Venezuelan restaurant right around the corner from our hotel. He brought back several boxes of our favorites. Carne mechada, arepitas, queso blanco, and cachapas con queso de mano. It was great and made the Lost Luggage Wait a little more bearable.

(Another thing that made the wait more bearable was that we are all experienced travelers and always pack a clean pair of undies in our carry-on.)

Pink Shoes


I learned a couple of things while packing to move this time around. I started packing way in advance, about a month before our departure. It seemed to help my girls accept the upcoming change a lot easier because they had more time to adjust.

I also learned, that when little girls are involved there are a lot of shoes. Most of which are pink.


Our trip in bullet points.

Highlights from the trip:

  • My husband yelled at a rock star while in Colombia. Turns out this rock star was very nice and apologetic. Ooops.
  • We did not get to eat at the Dunkin Donuts in Lima or Bogota. We quite literally ran through both airports and almost missed both planes.
  • Brian forgot our passports, tickets, baggage claim stickers, social security cards and who knows what else, at a security check point in Colombia. This involved more running.
  • Elena is terrified of airport bathrooms, the flushing scares her.
  • My girls were both angels and very well behaved on the trip...but still...we're all tired.
  • Airplanes give you crumbs and call it a sandwich.
  • My sister flew with us and was more than willing to help with the girls, but they decided they only wanted to be with me.
  • I'm tired.
  • We lost our luggage, but got it back the day after.
  • So far we have eaten at Taco Bell and Five Guys. I would now like to eat something I don't have to unwrap to get to. Real food, please.

I'll be back to my regular blogging soon. But one more thing: If you ever need to get any information out of anyone just put them on a 18 hour trip with two toddlers. They will tell you anything just to get out of that situation.

See you soon!

What I learned my first term

In seven days our first four year term as overseas missionaries comes to an end. It flew by. Most missionaries don't make it this far, and even less leave the first term with plans of returning.

We made it and we're coming back. But only because of God's grace.

I grew up on the mission field and this helped so much, but I still learned a lot.

1. I'm not one of those women who can balance "ministry" with family. Womens Bible studies, prayer groups, one on one discipleship...all those things will have to wait. I have a family to raise. Maybe in 20 years?

2. Apart from my relationship with God, my marriage is more important than anything else. If that relationship fails, everything else does too.

3. I still hate packing.

4. Saying goodbye doesn't get easier.

5. Plans change.

6. God is in control.

And probably the biggest thing I learned this term...

7. I don't know anything.

I still have so much to learn.

Links I like

An Open Letter to the Hollywood Magazine Types - Thank you, Shannon, for putting my thoughts into words.

Black and White Holga's of New York City - I want a Holga so bad. I really, really do.

Audrey Hepburn - Oh, Audrey, I just think you're great.

Coffee Table Play Mat - How cute. Hmmm...I need to make one of these!

Sunday Suppers - In my dreams I make meals like these and then photograph them like that.

Scary toilets

Reading 2

Last week, while at a soccer game, Fripits had to use the potty.
We were at an indoor soccer arena, mostly used by men. The bathroom was also mostly used by men.

I'll let you do the math on that one.

I knew the bathroom would be disgusting but when a three year old has to go, she has to go.

We walked in and it was nasty.

She looked at me and asked, "Mommy, this bathroom isn't very clean, right?"

Nope. It isn't.

Then I lifted up the lid to the toilet seat, and Fripits peeked inside. It was brown, murky, and stinky.

She reacted by screaming in terror at the top of her lungs.

Finally, after the screaming subsided she begged me to taker her to her bathroom because it has a clean toilet.

That was too far away, so Mommy saved the day by putting a diaper on her and letting her go there. (Drastic times, drastic measures.)

I have traveled in many countries, and there have been times where I've wished for my bathroom with its clean toilet.

Welcome Elena, to the real world.



DSC_0067 I would like to publicly thank the cow that gave its life so that we could eat 'asado' on Sunday.

So, thank you, cow. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.


Ah...Sunday afternoon asados. It's one of the best things about Paraguay.

Boo boo.


So, last Saturday at youth group I suffered an on the job injury. I was minding my own business, playing with my camera, standing in the corner. There was a game involving a small ball going on, and I'm allergic to all sports, it's true, so I stand as far away as possible.

Then I got hit in the face with ball. It was kicked clear across the auditorium and landed right on my upper jaw bone.

This made everyone laugh.

Sure, guys laugh.

It's a good thing they didn't hit the camera...or else heads would have rolled.

Better my face than my camera.

Newspaper and Bus

leather jacket

He reads the newspaper and then tells me whats going on in the world. It's important to know about world events you know.

I watch clips of Jon and Kate plus 8 on YouTube and tell him all about it. Because that's important too.


*Packing update: We sold our truck today. We will be without a vehicle for two weeks, which means we'll be taking buses. Should be many interesting blog posts coming up about that!!

(And one more thing...I love, love, love the way he looks in his black leather jacket.)

Playing in the church nursery (a long time ago)

Untitled from Brian McCobb on Vimeo.

Where did those babies go? And how do I get them back?


A new coffee shop opened up in the mall, and since Brian and I are both addicted to coffee we decided to try it out. The fact that it's cute attracted me too.

coffee shop 5

Coffee shop 4 Think and white fabric, curtains, wallpaper, everything.

Coffee shop 1

Certainly fun for taking pictures.


...the coffee?

Tasted. Like. Feet.

Lukewarm feet.

So gross.

At least it looks nice.

Cold Weather

fire, originally uploaded by paraguay4christ.

*It's been chilly around here, and it's great. We're loving every second.

* We have a layover in Lima, Peru on our long trip. I recently discovered there is a dunkin donuts there. This thrilled us so much, we almost shed tears of joy. I'll have a small latte with cream and sugar, and half a dozen assorted donuts. Please. (Uh..wait, make that a large latte. It's going to be a long trip. Gracias.)

* My feet are cold as I type this.

* I want to go to the beach. Ocean. Shore. Whatever.

* Really glad my sister is making the trip with us. Extra help with the kiddos.

* That's all for today.


Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter.

Is there a better combo in this life?

I don't think so.

(I was going to give you the recipe for the peanut butter cupcakes, but I have packed the cookbook the recipe was in.)

(So sorry.)

People I think you should meet (part 5)

I give you my Uncle Agustin. Originally from Queretaro, Mexico he moved to the US after marrying my Aunt Pam. He's a US citizen and manages a big Olive Garden. He loves soccer, the beach and his family. He doesn't like Democrats, or Olive Garden food, he's sick of it.
His Super Power can be summed up in one word. One beautiful, musical, romantic word.
His guacamole, rocks.
In the words of Nacho Libre..."It's the beeeest."

Sisterly Love

I seem to be in a bit of blogging slump. So, I give you a picture that's pretty stinkin' cute. I will be back when I think of something to blog about it.

Flip Flop Season

Flip Flop Season, originally uploaded by paraguay4christ.

We've been busy.

Packing bags, painting toenails, enjoying the rain, eating popcorn, laughing at Daddy, talking about the zoo, dreaming about Old Navy, listening to music, making messes, asking questions, taking pictures, playing with friends, laughing at jokes, watching Bugs Bunny, making cookies, planning trips, reading books, and counting boxes.

What have you been up to lately?

Packing with Sanity (snort)

The packing has begun. I've moved internationally, every two to four years, for my whole life. It's part of who I am. And I still don't like it. But I've accepted it.

I've accepted that my house will be a disaster zone for the next few weeks. Embrace the mess.

I've accepted that my hair will be in a pony tail almost every day. Love the ponytail.

I've accepted that my children will eat an amazing amount of junk food till we leave. Eat the Froot Loops.

Packing 5

Packing 1

I've accepted that no matter how inconvenient, most of my friends will stop by on the day before we leave to say goodbye.

I've accepted the fact that they will cry and be sad. But I will be too spent to cry with them.

I've come to accept the fact that although I think I have enough boxes, I dont.
Packing 6

The most important thing to remember, is that no matter how crazy things get, I MUST NOT SELL OR GIVE AWAY THE CHILDREN.

The grandparents on the other end would never forgive me.

People I think you should meet (part 4)

That's my cousin, Jared. And his wife Meredith. I've never met her, but I'm sure her Super Power is living with him. I'm sure of it. (Just kidding, Jared! You know I love you, man!)

Anyway, Jared is pretty cool. An MK like me, grew up in Venezuela, oldest of 6 kids. He's ten months younger than me, to the day. He likes cars, computers, and his wife. (Not in that order. I'm pretty sure she comes first.)

He also screams like a girl when he sees a cockroach.
Like a girl. A littl girl. Get that?
Right now he is working his way through Bible College, which brings me to his Super Power.
His job.
He works for a window washing company. Like up high. On scaffoldings. Hanging off of buildings with a squeegee.
That's definitly a super power in my book.

Raw batter

raw batter 2

We are spoon lickers in this house. Raw batter of all sorts has been eaten here. I like letting them lick the spoons and bowls because it keeps them happy while I finish cleaning up, but then I think, "Oh my goodness! Salmonella!!"

eating raw batter 1

So I hand them HUMONGOUS carrots to eat. It eases my guilt.



Suppose we have this guest bathroom that is never used by us. Suppose it's only really used by the teenagers that come for Bible studies throughout the week.
And just suppose that toilet has been broken for a while and we just kept forgetting it.
The teenagers never said anything because...well...I don't know why.

Anyway, suppose that after THREE months of a broken toilet we finally remembered to fix it.

(And by "we" I mean Mr. Husband and his two helpers.)

Bathroom Repairs

Turns out the teenagers are VERY HAPPY to know that know they can flush without sticking their hand into the tank.

So exciting

I'm not saying this is a true story. Just suppose.