Friday, April 18, 2008

Whose are these?

You wouldn't think that such a question would bring people to tears but around here you never know what will happen. I certainly never imagined that someone would come to me with dentures to inquire of their owner. But that's exactly what happened last week after our ladies meeting.

One of our ladies lost her lower dentures, and apparantly didn't realize she was toothless. Imagine my surprise when a deacons wife held them up in my face. Uh, gross! Evidently the expression on my face was enough to get the ladies laughing. That led to all kinds of jokes which soon had all of us crying because we were laughing so hard.

Have I told you yet how much I love these ladies? I love their humor, their joy in the Lord, and their ability to laugh. I love that they have wrapped their arms around me and pray for me and help me while I adjust to living here. I love that they are so willing to sit for an hour to gain some truths from the Bible about how they should live for God. I especially love that after teaching my class all in Spanish, from my mind (no notes, except for the discussion questions), the ladies were so encouraging in spite of my many mistakes. God has richly blessed me!

Sometimes you feel like a nut...Part 2

After watching Adeline continue to decline I decided to start her on steroids. Already she is doing so better. She is still fighting the asthma but her peak flow numbers are slightly better and she's not coughing constantly.

It was really a good thing I decided to begin the steroids when I did since yesterday we were nearly blinded out by wildfire smoke from Argentina. The smoke coupled with a bad respiratory virus here has caused asthmatics some major problems. Brandon was no exception and so now he is on breathing treatments too. Isabel was flared up last week but seems to be doing ok in spite of the smoke.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sometimes you feel like a nut...

sometimes you don't.
In Adeline's case she never feels like a nut - unless she's acting like one. Last night we were at a birthday party of a friends daughter. After we non-allergic people enjoyed the egg white frosted cake and the chocolate chip cookies with peanuts the adults enjoyed a time of fellowship while the kids played with a whistle. Each one in turn pretended to be the leader of a parade. It wasn't until Adeline came in wheezing with the whistle in her mouth that the warning alarm sounded in my mind. She was also sneezing and her eyes were red and swollen. All indications of an allergic reaction. (I wonder when she is going to start paying attention to these warnings of her body.)

Once again we went into emergency measures with her - get the Benadryl, give a dose, and watch carefully for further symptoms specifically anaphylaxis. Hit the brakes...BIG problem...though we had the Epi-Pens we didn't have the Benadryl with us. Not good! How quickly do you think we can get our family rounded up? A few minutes later we were home. Adeline had the Benadryl down her hatch and she was sitting with the nebulizer doing a treatment. And I was once again debating the use of Epi.

I went through the warning signs of Anaphylaxis - rash/hives, difficulty breathing, facial swelling, difficulty swallowing, abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, drop in blood pressure (how do you recgnize this symptoom in someone else?), feeling of impending doom and loss of consciousness. Since she only had one definite sign - difficulty breathing - plus the beginning of facial swelling I hesitated to use the Epi and opted for the breathing treatment and Benadryl.

I have to say that one of the most difficult things about Adeline's severe allergies is not so much the lingering effects (problems with her asthma) after exposure. Rather it is the need to decide the fate of my child. I have been told that the worst thing that will happen with an unnecessary dose of Epi is a racing heartbeat. However there is the possibility with Epinephrine of cardiac troubles. That possible side effect is what causes my hesitation. And so, I go with the Benadryl, which, I just read, is supposed to be the least effective option because it can take up to an hour to take effect. Thank God that each time we have had to deal with her anaphylaxis the Benadryl has worked. But it's a horrible thing to second guess yourself when it seems the treatment should be obvious.

Tonight I sit at home instead of being at church, because Adeline's asthma is now very flared up. Now I have to decide if she should go on a round of steroids. Dr. Cavataio, if you're reading this, I'm open to your advice.

Winter Warmth

Last winter was, to say the least, extremely frigid! It was cold everywhere we went - church, stores, and even at home. And though this summer was hot we were enjoying the non-frigid temperatures. A few days ago autumn finally arrived with some extremely cold nights. Since two quilts and winter PJ's haven't kept us warm enough at night, I put our caliente de cama's (heating blankets of a sort) back on our bed today. But I'm really looking forward to using our new AC/Heaters, a gift from our home church.
Concerned that we not freeze again this winter our home church sent funds for us to buy two AC/Heaters. Our new split model air conditioner/heaters are awaiting installation. They look just like the one above - which is in our LR right now. The plan is to move the one from the LR into a bedroom and put the other two in bedrooms so all of us can sleep at night instead of freezing...or baking, whatever the season may be.
This is a tremendous answer to prayer for us. Living with the extreme heat and cold, without relief, has probably been one of the hardest adjustments to life here in Uruguay. Thanks so much Pastor Wagner and church family at Macomb Baptist for taking such wonderful care of us!

Happy 6th Birthday Nehemiah!!!

Nehemiah hanging on the chain of the bridge in the historic district of Colonia del Sacramento.

It's hard to believe Nehemiah is 6 years old today. Six years ago today I was told by my midwife that before the end of the day I would be in labor. After asking me if I had plans that day, Pam, was quickly informed, by me, that I most definitely had plans. The last Sara's Daughters meeting was that afternoon and as president I had to be there to preside over the meeting. She didn't think I would make it, but since I wasn't having any contractions yet I kept my plans.
I headed home and packed the older kids bags and picked up my things for that afternoons meeting. Then I headed over to WalMart to pick up the gift from my officer team to be given to Mrs. Comfort. While I was there I had a few contractions but thought nothing of them. I was already running late when I ran into my friend Susan in the parking lot and, swearing her to secrecy, arranged for the kids to stay with them that night.
When I finally got to the college I was early for the meeting but late for when I typically arrived. I planned on just going about my business and heading for the hospital, which was an hour away, after the meeting. However, because I was late Mrs. Comfort was concerned and so I had to tell her about my crazy morning and early afternoon. Naturally her first question was to ask if I was having contractions. She would have to ask! "A few, but not very strong!" I said. "I'll be right back." replied Mrs. Comfort.
Upon her return I was told that I could stay for the meeting as she made sure the school nurse stayed at the school but if I had contractions less than 15 minutes apart I had to go. I also had to let the ladies know I was in labor and may have to leave at any moment.
I did make it through the meeting and by the time we left the school I was having contractions every three minutes. How fast do you think Scott drove up the mountain? I won't divulge that information but suffice it to say when he found out my contractions were so close his foot pushed much harder on the gas pedal. We didn't know Jim and Susan's car had so much get up and go.
Our midwife was pulled over on the way to the hospital because she was speeding. I guess finding out your patient, who is pregnant with her 6th child, is having contractions 3 minutes apart makes you rush.
Well we got there with plenty of time to spare and that evening, Nehemiah Joel joined our family. Eight days after he was born he attended his first Sigma awards banquet and joined in the celebration of Chi Alpha's win (the team we led) by crying. He went on his first missions trip to the North East USA when he was just six weeks old.
Scott and I are thankful for Nehemiah. We pray he will become a man of character like his namesake. That when there comes a time in his life where God calls upon him for service he is willing and ready.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hanging out with Naomi.

Adeline and Bethany took Naomi on a tour of our neighborhood. The kids call this the marshmallow house.

Naomi with Silas and behind them is the old entrance to the city of Colonia del Sacramento, complete with a drawbridge and dry moat.

At church, this is Melissa, one of Kaitlin's friends, with Naomi.

These guys are waiting for their birthday presents from Naomi. They got all kinds of goodies. As I write Adeline is enjoying her learn to draw DVD and she's quite the artist.

Silas loved Naomi! Inevitably he ended up like this - zonked out on her shoulder. He misses you, Naomi, we can't get him to sleep like you did.

Adeline enjoys reading to Silas. She takes him to her room, lays him on her bed and reads to him. He loves his story time with her.

Me and Naomi on the lighthouse.

Inside the catholic church in the historic part of Colonia del Sacramento.

Ready to do some sliding. The last time we toured the old city, with Pastor Wagner, the kids discovered that this hill is great fun to slide on. So when we went through with Naomi they could hardly contain themselves and wait for this picture session to be over with. As for me I can't look while they slide. What you can't see it the nearly verticle angle on the hill. No thanks!

Seeing the sights with Naomi

Jose Artigas' - Uruguay's George Washington - mausoleum in Montevideo. The most evident thing when you first walk in is the very "russian" looking font style used on the lettering. One feels like they are in communist Russia. Naomi in front of the Legislative Palace in Montevideo. We tried to tour it but there was a couple hundred high school students waiting their turn.The guards at the Legislative Palace. It was interesting to have them follow you with their eyes.

Calle de los Suspiros (The street of sighes) here in Colonia del Sacramento. This is the oldest street in South America. It got it's name because this was the street where condemned prisoners were led from the town center to the water's edge for execution.
At the top of the lighthouse here in Colonia del Sacramento. Many of you will recall that we used this lighthouse on our prayer card and brochure.

Some things that you should never put in a suitcase.

Who knows why we brought them. Neither Scott nor I can figure out how they managed to hitchhike all the way down here to Uruguay. After all, we went through our things when we packed them in NC as we started deputation and then again before we loaded everything onto our container. But alas the net Christmas lights and various "old" cell phones made it into the chosen boxes.

We had thought to send these things back with Pastor Wagner when he visited us in March...but we forgot. Good thing for him. Bad for Naomi. I'm sure she can tell this story much better than I can but I'll give it a shot anyway.

Last night we stayed in the airport with Naomi until we saw her go through the security check point. I was amazed that she was not searched at the ticket counter when she checked her bag and I told her so. I spoke too soon.

As she arrived at the gate the agent took her ticket as usual then asked her to wait a moment. I'm sure a number of things were going through her mind as the head of security showed up and took her to another part of the airport to question her about the things in her bag. She mentioned the cell phones as that was what she recalled at the time. The security agent then asked about the bundle of wires in her bag. Uh, oh. I guess cell phones AND boxed Christmas lights send a very bad signal.

Thankfully they accepted her explanation and let her on the plane. And she made it back to the States just fine, in spite of the American Airlines cancellations. I don't know if she had the same problem when she left Miami. But we'll definitely be more careful with the things we send back in peoples bags.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Preaching Podcasts

I was visiting our Alma Mater and discovered that all of their sermons are now being broadcast as podcasts. If you go to Ambassador Baptist College's website you can sign up for the podcasts there. I've already greatly enjoyed listening to the sermons as I cook and clean.

In 20 days, no questions asked.

No that's not an ad for a store. That is part of the new legal residency law for parents who have had a child in country. We are supposed to qualify for this new program because of Silas. Scott had our file split off from the kids at the beginning of March. He went back yesterday to file a paper that had expired and expected to get our paper declaring our legal residency.

Evidently the 20 days begins when they actually split the file up and start the process. SIGH. He was told that was not done yet. Supposedly they have now split the file and sent ours up to Juridica for the approval process. Once we are granted legal residency we will have our bond released. Also our kids legal residency should be a faster process once we have been granted residency. We would appreciate your prayers for this.

A Place to Call Our Own - Part 3

On our way to church Sunday we saw that the real estate sign was down. Hmmm. I started thinking they changed their minds, even though they accepted our offer they didn't seem too serious about selling. Long story short, Scott put in several phone calls to the realtor and none were returned. Finally, after using my cell phone to call the real estate agent we discovered that the sellers decided not to sell.

Certainly the price was ideal and the ability to expand was great. But more certainly God has something different for us. Something more suited to our needs. Of course, that will likely cost more and that means we will need God to provide us with the needed money. That is unless we can find a house with an owner that will finance the loan for us. I have faith that we love and serve a God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. We have seen Him provide for our family in ways that only He can. Will He be any different this time? No! He will keep His promises to provide for our needs and He has a plan. We just need to wait on Him until He tells us what to do next. Until then we'll keep praying about where God would have us to live after our lease runs out in November.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Naomi is HERE!!!

WooHoo!!! I guess you can figure out how excited we are about our friend Naomi coming to Uruguay for a visit. She'll be here for 10 days, and we're praying time c...r...a...w...l...s!

She brought lots of goodies with her. I have corn flour to make corn tortillas and our favorite mexican hotsauce - Chalula. We all enjoyed pop tarts this morning and microwave popcorn last night.

The kids now have a real rope swing, which I'm glad for because it worried me when they put the rope over their heads to be able to sit in the rope to swing.

I should have thought to take a picture of everything Naomi brought down with her. But it might just make your mouths water. We would like to give a special thanks to the anonymous individual who bought and sent the HUGE care package with Naomi.

A super BIG thanks goes to Emmanuel Baptist's Sigma team - Nu Delta for the BIG ball they sent to us for use in the ministry here. We can hardly wait to play BIG ball bowling and BIG ball volleyball...and we'll definitely get some pictures. Oh yeah, Nu Delta, you can count your project now. :-)

Well, I'd love to blog some more but I have to find tests to score, and make some pizza dough for lunch and teach Nehemiah school. I'll update you on our immigration status later.