Okay, I´m four days early, but I have a few minutes to write and I may not get that again for a few days.
It is hard to believe that 2013 is almost over. It was a busy year. I spent 6 weeks in the U.S. after my mom had knee surgery and two more surgeries on the knee because of complications. Dennis spent 15 days in the States with his Dad and step mom. We both did extensive travel here in Brazil for evangelistic work and made one trip to CHile that was a mix of work and pleasure. Dennis travels more than I do.
The family is doing well. My grandkids are all growing a lot. Emily is 11 and is taller than me and Megan. SHe is growing up in a lot of ways. The twins are eight. There is still a big difference in their heights and personalities, but they are best buddies. EMily is six and happy to have lost two teeth recently. Leo is four and is all boy. He is finally learning to control some of his energy. Julia (cousin to Leo) is also four. SHe is all girl. SHe is really excited that she will be getting a brother in just about five more weeks. Bernardo is three. He is a fun and funny little boy. He says the cutest things. All the kids have done well in school this year and received good comments on behavior. That always makes me happy!
The really big news other than the new grandchild, is that Megan, Joel and Bernardo are moving to the U.S. We are going to really miss them. I have been so blessed to have all my kids and grandkids living close to me all these years. I am happy for Megan and Joel and the new opportunities they will have. I asked if Bernardo could stay here. They said no! ;-)
We are getting ready for our annual New Year´s Eve party. I think we are going to have a pretty good turnout this year. I hope the weather cooperates.
I hope all of you have a great end to 2013 and a great 2014. May 2014 be used in service to God and may you have health and happiness. Happy New Year!
Greetings! I guess the first thing I need to do is update on my mom. I ended up spending six weeks in the U.S. helping her and Dad after Mom~s surgeries. Her recovery was slow, but I am happy to report that she is recovering well. She sounds like her old self when I talk to her and she says her knee has healed well. She even drove a short distance the other day. I am very thankful for her progress!
There have been so many things that have happened recently. The end of July our second daughter turned 30. It seems impossible that I have two kids that are 30 or older. I must be getting old! We surprised Megan by inviting several friends to join us for pizza at a restaurant. It was fun.
On Aug. 9th, Dennis and I celebrated 33 years of marriage. That also does not seem possible. We have had a great 33 years. We have had good times and not so good times. Life is that way. I would not trade my time with Dennis for anything. He is the love of my life and my best friend. This year, he surprised me and took me on a trip to the mountains. We left on Thursday morning and got back on Saturday afternoon. We stayed at a bed and breakfast that had individual chalets. The view was beautiful! We ate good food, hiked a trail to the top of a large rock (mountain) and just relaxed and enjoyed the time away from the chaos of the city and our normal routine. It was a much needed and appreciated break.
The Saturday we arrived home marked the 20 year anniversary of our arrival in Brazil. In some ways it doesn't seem that long and in others it seems like we have always lived here. We are blessed to be a part of the work for the Lord here in Brazil. We had arranged to meet Megan and Joel for supper to celebrate. Renato and the kids were also going to join us. We were to meet Megan and Joel and some friends house and go from there. On arrival, they invited us to come in for a minute. We entered and were greeted with a chorus of "Surprise!" A number of people had gathered to help us celebrate. They read notes from people from all over Brazil. We had cake and pizza and visited. It was a wonderful evening. It was a so sweet for them to put the party together to show us how much we are appreciated. We were touched by the kindness.
I am anxious for warmer weather to get here and stay here. It has been unusually cool this winter. Nothing like winters in the Northern US, but still with no source of heat in the house, when it gets into the 40's at night, it is a bit on the cool side. Fortunately, the cold doesn't usually last very long.
I don't think I have mentioned on here that we are expecting our 8th grandchild in early February. Josh and Aline are expecting their second child. I went with Aline for an ulltrasound appointment a couple of weeks ago. It was so amazing to see the face, hand, feet and the heart beating. It was too early to tell if it was a boy or a girl, but they plan to find out, so I will let you know.
Life is good and I am happy!
I have been in Kentucky since May 6th to help my Mom. She had knee surgery the end of March and was still moving a bit slowly. The day my dad picked me up, she went to th emergengy room because of pain. He did some testing. We wnet to to the surgeon's office on Friday and were told Mom had a staph infection and would have to have surgery again. The surgery went well, but she is recovering slowly. Please keep her in your prayers.
First, the good. My mom continues to improve. She was able to travel to my brother's house for a family gathering at New Year's. when I left on Dec. 6th, she couldn't imagine being able to do that. Mom is also driving again, which makes her happy. I am thankful for her progress.
Our new year is off to a busy start and isn't going to slow down for awhile. We had a New Year's eve party with about 50 people here. We had a cookout, visited, played games and also had a period of song and prayer. It was a great way to bring in 2013. On jan. 4th, we had a visitor from Manaus come. She stayed nine days. On Jan. 5th we had our family holiday. I love getting my immediate family together. We all live in the same town and it still isn't easy to get everyone together. We have had a couple of doctor appointments, puppies being born, and have had a major rearranging job goinig on in our house. We leave Thursday of this week to go to Rio Grande do Sul for six days. When we get back we will have six days to get ready for more company. Dennis has a ouple of evangelistic trips in march and then he will spend 15 days in the U.S. in April. There will be a lot more going on the rest of the year, we just don't have it all mapped out.
Now to the bad. Just a couole of days ago I learned of yet another marriage that has ended (nobody you would know). The couple have been Christians for a number of years. It is a long story about much deciet. The devil is having a party while two families are falling apart and a congregation of the Lord's people is shaken. It makes me so sad every time I hear of a broken marriage. We MUST work harder to protect our marriages and help others have strong marriages. I think sometimes people think that just because they are christians that their marrige will last forever. It helps, a lot, but we still MUST make sure that we are working to build our marriages up. Don't let satan win.
I hope all of you have a great 2013, that it will be a year to grow closer to your families and most importantly, a year to grow closer to God.
Mom's surgery was successful! I am so thankful! Mom still has a long road of recovery, but we are very happy with this first step. Mom has to take blood thinners. She had to go off of those to have her surgery. She will be off them for a few more days and then go back on them. We are praying that she has no clotting. I think one of the hard parts of the recovery is going to be that she cannot sit for three weeks. She can walk, so stairs, stand and even recline,but she can't sit. This is to give the wound area of the surgery time to heal. Thank you for your prayers to this point and please keep praying for mom to have a complete recovery.