Baby finds carrot


Baby finds carrot under table.
Mother does now know how long it has been on the floor.
Nor does she care.
Baby is quiet.

Yesterday was a long, long day.
I waged war on the ants in my kitchen. It's the same war I wage every summer in Paraguay. I always loose, until the cold winds come again and then they die. I've tried everything (cornmeal, grits, salt, pepper, etc.) I have not spread ant poison on my counters, that seems a little much.
I was homesick for somewhere but I wasn't sure where that was.
I'm so done with culture-shock. (Except I'm not, which explains everything.) Honestly, this city we're living in now is so different from Asuncion. I sometimes feel as if I'm in a different country.
But yesterday is over and we're moving on to today!
Have a great weekend!

6:30 PM (or so)

Shades of Gray

6:30 means bathtime.
Babies that smell like Johnson's Shampoo.
Fluffy white towels.
Slippery baby toes.
Little hands rubbing small eyes.
A bathtub emptying of water, and smudged with dirt.
Tangled hair being combed.
Bible stories being read.
Prayers being said.
Girls being tucked in.
Mommy and Daddy time.

6:30 PM means bedtime is on the way.

Hangy Thingies...?

It's Tuesday.
Which means I blog about the latest simple craft the girls and I have made. Hopefully these fairly simple ideas will help your days be a little easier, simpler, more fun and memorable. It's so important to keep those littler fingers busy, isn't it?

We took paper plates and cut them in half. We each got two halves to paint with watercolors. Then we took long strips of tissue paper (we had yellow and pink on hand), glued them between the two paper plates, and then hung them from the ceiling on our patio.


A little splotch of color and we like watching the ribbons flutter on breezy days.
Making these was better than spending the afternoon watching cartoons.

(Which is what my girls are doing right now while I type this. Ha!)

Cowboy Cookies



I made these cookies to get out of our usual cookie rut. It was a good choice, the dough make sa lot of cookies, freezes well and is choc full of many different flavors. Stop on by, I'll let you have a taste!

Cowboy Cookies

3 cups of flour
1 Tbsp. of baking powder
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 cups chocolate chips
3 cups oats
2 cups coconut
2 cups walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
In LARGE bowl (this recipe is huge so make sure the bowl is big) beat butter till creamy. Gradually beat in the sugars. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Stir in flour mixture till combined. Add chocolate chips, oats, coconut, and nuts. (I also added raisins...just because.)

Bake for about 15-20 minutes till golden brown around the edges.

Our days via the iPhone

{Youngest church pianist ever}


{Abbie and her funny faces}

{The girls spot a rainbow}

{A very hot day}

{Flowers from the yard}

{Baby eating dirt...again}


Super Hero Girls

Super Hero 2

Elena says:
"Andy from Toy Story 3 looks very romantic."

Super Hero

Abbie says:
"Andy is handsome, but I want to marry Prince Phillip"

Seriously? Where do they get this stuff?

Embracing with my new do!



My wavy mane is gone and I have to say, I really don't miss it. It's cooler, and because I don't have to do a single thing to it I get more time for the important things. Like posing in front of Photobooth with my girls.

Elena likes my new hair. She says it's "really cool."
Abbie did not like it. "You look like a different mommy."
She's getting used to it.

And seriously, if you've ever wanted a pixie cut, but have been too scared to get one, a piece of advice:

You will love it.

Where I live...


New languages are all around us in this city, from Chinese to Portuguese, to Spanish to English, to's a long list. I only wish I could learn them all in this lifetime.
I find myself understanding Portuguese a bit better but I wish I had more time to dedicate to studying it.
Perhaps the next best thing is to make sure my daughters (who have minds like sponges) will learn it. Once they are fluent I will appoint them as my translators.
In this picture, after church service a few weeks ago, Abbie is teaching her beloved Tia Bi the English word for common objects and Tia Bi in turn gives her the Portuguese word.
(Yes, Abbie wore her pink polka dotted rain boots to church. She wears them everywhere. )

Making Crowns

What is there to do in that one hour between supper and bedtime? That hour is usually pretty awful around here what with a tired mommy, hyper kids, messy kitchen, blah blah blah.
Sometimes I read aloud to them but lately our very active ten month old has not allowed for that.
So...crafting came to the rescue this day.
A simple crown made out of aluminum foil.
We decorated them with crayons to keep messiness to a minimum.





Tell me: What do you do during the last (and maybe hardest/longest) hours of the day?
Any ideas that will hopefully not make the messy house any messier, the tired mommy any more tired, the hyper children any more hyper, would be greatly appreciated.

Or maybe I'm just dreaming?

Berry and Buttermilk Cake




Berry and Buttermilk Cake
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of buttermilk
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 cup fresh blueberries (I used dehydrated, it's the only kind of blueberries that are imported here. Fresh would be MUCH better)
2 1/2 Tbsp. raw sugar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease and flour a cake pan. Sift flour and baking powder into large bowl, add the sugar and mix. In separate bowl whisk eggs till light and fluffy, add buttermilk, and butter. Mix well. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix gently with a wooden spoon just until everything is combined. Do not over-mix.
Spoon mixture into pan, sprinkle berries over top, sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for about 25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before cutting and removing from pan.

Lexi's To Do List


Alexandra's Daily Agenda:
1. Wake up
2. Drool
3. Find something breakable. Break it.
4. Poop
5. Find something inedible. Eat it.
6. Repeat till bedtime.

Embrace the silliness

We've been testing out areas around the house for photoshoots. Where is the best lighting? What backdrop to use? I've got some cool ideas I just hope I can transfer them from my head to reality. In the meantime, I have plenty of helpers which is slowing down the process. But, my helpers are also the models, so I can't be too picky can I?


I've been keeping up with the news in the United States.

I hear it's cold and snowy, which is wonderful for those who like it.


We're eating popsicles by the pool.



Yes, eating popsicles and getting wet, drippy footprints all over my friend's house.


Sorry guys! Thanks for putting up with us!


Getting our craft on


Flower Fairies made with construction paper, glue, and leaves, petals, grass from the yard.
Cute, huh?


Idea found here.

Saucy BBQ Crockpot Burgers


Yes. Hamburgers in the crockpot.
Sounds weird but trust me, it tastes good.
I'll be the first to tell you: I'm not a fan of crockpot food. It's usually mushy. However, I use my crockpot at least once a week. I need it, LOVE it, when I'm cooking beans, making chicken stock, or pot roast tacos. And now, burgers.

1/2 kilo of ground meat (you do the math...I don't do math)
your favorite BBQ sauce
sliced onions

Sprinkle salt and pepper into the ground meat, mix well. Form four small patties, make indentation with your thumb on top of the patties. (This keeps them from swelling in the middle while they cook...thank you Bobby Flay for that tip!) Fry up the patties in some hot olive oil till browned on both sides. Place in crock pot, pour lots (lots mind you) of BBQ sauce over the patties, lay sliced onions on them and cook on High for about 2 hours, or till juices run clear.


Even our pickiest eater liked them.

Our week in Pictures

SUNDAY: Abbie waits for church to start


MONDAY: Grocery shopping


TUESDAY: Baby in Tub

WEDNESDAY: Bri takes a nap

THURSDAY: Empty laundry line

FRIDAY: Baby eats lunch

A week of produce

Living in a country where produce is not that expensive is wonderful.

This is what a week like of produce looks like in my house. Some had already been stored in the fridge...yes, there's more than that. And it will all be eaten before next shopping trip.
It seems like a lot to me when the week starts, but I always feel we should be eating more...


Embrace the camera...even at lunch!


Lunchtime can sometimes be pretty awful around here. I'm usually exhausted, people are hungry, Baby Girl is fussy, and even when the food is oh-so-simple (sandwiches, cheese, crackers) it still feels like such a chore to get it on the table. The last thing I want to do is take pictures, even if someone is actually doing something cute.
I just want a nap. And quiet. And real food that doesn't involve me eating with my fingers.
But it's worth it sometimes to set the camera up, tell the big girls to please, please, please just be patient for two more minutes while I snap a photo of me stealing sweet baby kisses.
My mother-in-law, who raised two little boys (18 months apart-yikes!) always says about those days "I only remember the good stuff."

I will not mind one bit if I forget about the cranky sandwich lunches we'll be having for the next few years, but I don't want to forget those good moments.

There always is a little bit of sweet amidst the sour.

So take a picture of it! Even, dare I say, especially during the worst parts of your day. It might make things seem a little bit better.

Chrsitmas...Paraguay style!

(And Venezuelan style, and American style, and English style!)

Because that is how we roll around these parts!

Notice how the girls cram our three nativity sets together. One is from Israel, one is from Argentina, and one is from Fisher-Price.

Homemade ornaments...another tradition?

Colorful snowflakes because white is boring! (And because baby was sleeping in the room where white paper is kept.)










Christmas was beautiful, relaxing and slow, which is just the way I like it. We didn't have to go anywhere, just batten down the hatches with family and a few close friends. Perfect!