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Five to One



As our lives change and our family grows, we hope to keep our friends and family up-to-date with the happenings of our lives.



Updated: 2018-03-02T14:16:31.241-03:00

 



Nova Etapa

2009-09-10T16:27:07.020-03:00

Estamos entrando uma nova etapa de nossas vidas. Giselle fez 5 anos e commeçou escola ontém e Callie fez 1 aninho dia 5 de setembro. Não temos mais bebê e nem estamos esperando bebê!! Que milagre!!! Esse ano que passou foi um ano de loucura, mas com ajuda de Deus, conseguimos. Estamos felizes e ansiosos para a nova fase com as meninas. Elas estão aprendendo muitas coisas e é bom demais ver elas crescendo. Elysia está falando demais e Callie está bem esperta. Ela não anda ainda, mas daqui um pouco vai commeçar. Fomos no zoólogico de Philadelphia com meu irmão e a esposa dele, e tenho umas fotos aqui. Também tem fotos do aniversário de Callie e Gigí. Estamos com saudades de TODOS VOCÊS!!!!!!!!! Dave e Bobbi (meu irmão e cunhada)Chad e as meninasBobbi com Elysia e Callie no carrinho Gigí e Lalá Giselle Callie Ela tá assustada com a vela as meninas com as primas primeiro dia da escola![...]



Que vergonha...

2009-05-14T16:26:06.057-03:00

Que vergonha... que horror... faz mais que dois meses que atualizei este blog!! Minhas desculpas!! Mas estamos bem, e estou bem ocupada... cuidando da minha casa e de minhas princesinhas. Chad está trabalhando muito com os jovens aqui. Tem sido um desafio, mas com muitas bençãos também. Ele já fez uma viajem pra Fortaleza em abril, e fiquei com inveja... queria ir também. Uma noite quando estava colocando as meninas pra dormir enquanto ele estava viajando, a Larissa disse "Mamãe, depois que acordamos, podemos viajar?" "O que?" foi minha resposta. "Num avião" ela disse. Eu disse, "Você quer ir pra onde?" "Pra casa de Bruce e Lyndell" ela disse. "Também quero ir lá, querida, mas é MUITO longe, e não temos dinheiro pra fazer uma viagem dessa" eu disse. Ela pensou bem e disse, "E amanhã?" Eu ri, e falei pra ela que ela orasse pra Deus e peça o dinheiro pra a gente ir!! Com certeza Deus vai providenciar o dinheiro pra nossa família ir... não vejo a hora de ir pro Brazil. Sinto tantas saudades de todos vocês!!!!!!!!!!!!! A Giselle está bem - ela está falando bem muito agora. Tem uma professora que vem aqui em casa toda semana pra trabalhar com ela. Ela tem melhorado tanto desde que chegamos aqui. É um programa do governo que é de graça. É uma benção!! Em setembro ela vai entrar na escolinha de uma igreja aqui perto. Ela está bem empolgada. A Larissa também está falando muito e parece uma moçinha já. Ainda prefere a cor rosa e gosta de se arrumar. Se ela pudesse, ela se vestia de vestido ou saia todo dia. É uma graça. Elysia fez dois aninhos dia 7 agora de maio. Ela está falando e commeçou a formar umas frases de 2 ou 3 palavras. Ela está usando calçinha já, mas ainda faz xixi de vez em quando na calçinha. Callie está com 8 meses já! Ela fica sentada no chão sozinha e fica de quatro... já já vai commeçar a engatinhar. Ela gosta de ver as irmãs correr e brincar. Dar pra ver que ela está querendo correr atráz delas já. Pois é... veja as fotos... Callie puxando o rabo da Molly... e Molly está nem aí. A flor que Chad comprou pra mim no Dia das MãesFesta de aniversário da Lilí - 2 anos! Elysia e Larissa com o tio Derek (irmão do Chad) Larissa comendo espetinho de coração de galinha... ela e Giselle comeram 4 espetinhos cada uma! Giselle Chad fazendo churrasco. Bolinho da Lilí Callie no carrinho que Elysia ganhou de presente. Giselle com o avô (meu pai) Larissa com a prima dela, Kate.Eu e minhas princesas. CANCÚNChad e eu fizemos 10 anos de casados. Fomos na segunda 'lua de mel' para Cancún, México. Passamos 4 noites lá, e deixamos as meninas com meus pais e minha irmã. Foi maravilhoso! Nosso apartamento ficou no sexto andar - a vista do mar. O hotel foi lindíssimo. meu corte de cabelo as meninas brincando com massinha Elysia & Callie Elysia com a prima na praça de Lititz. Christine da Alemanha nos visitou.[...]



mais fotos...

2009-03-10T16:11:51.927-03:00

Callie em cima do piano. Eu tocando e cantando com Lilí no colo e Cacá no 'Bumbo' la em cima. Na praça "Lititz Springs Park" com os patos. Dando pão pros patos. Eu e Callie. Gigí e Lalá As minhas com primas. Lalá e Lilí Lilí amou o escorregador!! Cacá e Lilí Chad lendo pra Lilí Lalá segurando Cacá O porão... terminado!!![...]



e a vida continua....

2009-03-10T15:42:02.026-03:00

Olá amigos. Quanto tempo! A vida passa rápida demais!!! Estou devendo muitas fotos... vou commeçar aqui com algumas e depois coloco mais, tá? Minha prima, Pam, ajudando a pintar. As irmãs ajudando dar banho na Callie. Não sei porque essa cara, mas achei engraçada :) Chad todo sujo... trabalhando no porão Meu pai fazendo o 'dry-wall' do porão. O porão agora tem a televisão e os brinquedos das meninas. Aí, a sala lá em cima fica mais como sala de estar. Estou adorando minha casa. Deus é muito bom!!! Corte de cabelo!!! A irmã do Chad (Kate) cortou o cabelo das meninas.... todas 3. Chad e meu pai trabalhando no porão.[...]



A Nova Vida...

2009-02-10T17:58:20.817-03:00

Já faz 2 meses que estamos aqui no FRIO!!! Deus tem sido MUITO fiel conosco - até nas coisinhas. Compramos uma casa há um mes já e a casa está quase arrumada. O porão ainda não estava terminado, e vamos colocar carpet e pintar para puder usar aquele espaço como um andar a mais. Vamos colocar a TV lá e vai ter espaço pras meninas brincarem. Estou adorando a casa. É um 'townhouse'. Vou colocar uma foto pra você ver como é. As meninas estão gostando também. A casa tem 3 quartos (1 sendo suite). Giselle e Larissa estão crescendo tanto e falando muito! Elysia está commeçando a falar e o cabelo dela finalmente está crescendo (depois que ela arrancou o cabelo em cima!). Callie já fez 5 meses e ela é muito divertida. Ela gosta de ficar assistindo as irmãs correndo de lá pra cá. Fico muito ocupada, só em cuidar delas e da casa! Mas estou adorando dessa fase da minha vida. Chad está trabalhando muito e tem sido um desafio pra mim, mas Deus é fiel e está me ajudando muito. É bom também, ter família aqui perto. Pronto... segue as fotos!!! Callie tomando banho na banheira... feita pra usar na pia da cozinha (onde sai água quente da torneira)!As 3 irmãs... depois do banho, de pijama e pronto pra dormir.Elysia, Giselle e Larissa na neve - na varanda no quintal de nossa casa.Callie olhando as irmãs lá fora na neve.Callie com sua bis-avó (minha avó).LaláLilíGigí com o tio DerekChad e LarissaOs jovens da igreja em nossa casa pra assistir o Super Bowl (campeonato do futebol americano) em nossa casa. Chad está no chão no meio.NOSSA CASA!!! YAY!!! Olha a neve!![...]



The Switchover - Mudanças

2009-02-10T16:48:19.892-03:00

I have decided that now that I am living in the states, it is time to switch my blog over to Portuguese for our friends down in Brazil to be able to accompany our lives and children growing.

Como estamos morando nos EUA agora, vou commeçar a fazer os blogs em Português, para todos os nossos amigos poderem nos acompanhar!!! Sentimos muita falta de TODOS VOCÊS!!!!!!!!!!!!!



The Last Post

2008-11-30T23:59:19.910-03:00

Tomorrow is the big day of packing. We haven't really started actually packing yet. I have it pretty well organized in my head where things will go, but tomorrow morning we will start boxing stuff. Our wonderful neighbors are going to help out with the kids so we can work efficiently. We have started saying our good-byes... not the most fun part of the process. This could very well be my last post from Brazil. What a journey we've been on, and we are just beginning another leg of it. God has been so faithful so far, and we know He will only continue that. We look forward to see what He has for us next. Finally, an updated family picture (if only we could get everyone to look at the camera at once)! This was today at a hotel that we went to with our good friends Paulo & Priscila. You can't see the view too good on this picture, but there is such an amazing view out across the valley. Callie! Patrícia holding Callie - she just started coming to the church around the time we got here, and she has grown sooooo much since we are here. Oh, how I will miss Suely! She has got to be the sweetest person ever! Chad sharing at the last cell group meeting before we go. He lead this youth cell group while we were here. It is now passed over to his assistant leaders, Damião & Suely. The girls with their fun hats that Chad got for them in Peru. They keep wanting to put them on here, but I don't let them because they get so hot sweated! But they will soon need them![...]



The Last Churrascos

2008-11-30T23:45:08.222-03:00

Brazilians like their grilled meat, and this past week we got to participate in two 'churrascos' - one at our house and one at a friend's house. We will miss the chicken hearts.... maybe Chad can make them in the states. Our good friend Damião, grilled the meat at both churrascos. Here are some pictures.
(image) Sitting next to me is my good friend Amanda. Her and her husband were our Portuguese professors 7 years ago!
(image) Our girls also love the chicken hearts, as you can see.
(image)
(image) Damião grilling the meat on a very typical Brazilian grill... quite simple.

(image) mmmmmmmm....
(image) Chad standing next to a tray of meat at our house.

(image) Damião making the meat at our house - but here he used a big gas griddle.




"Oh, the Lord's been good to me...."

2008-11-25T15:32:47.996-03:00

I nearly broke out in the Johnny Appleseed song this morning. Our car has been sold, just one more thing that sold quickly and fairly effortlessly. Through word of mouth, a friend of a friend of ours is buying it. Chad gets home tomorrow afternoon and will probably be going to transfer the money and title of it right away. We might be without a car these last few days, but that is the least of our worries... that's why God invented taxi's, right?!? So up until now, that just leaves us with a highchair, toddler bed and filing cabinet to sell yet. Not too bad! We have just one more week here in Juazeiro - next Tuesday night we take the bus to Fortaleza, meet Chad's mom there on Wednesday, and we all leave on Friday! Here are a few more pictures...(image) (image) (image)



11 days...

2008-11-22T15:12:57.138-03:00

Chad is in Peru and will be getting back on Wednesday afternoon. Once again, the girls decided to get colds while he's gone. Thank the Lord, I haven't felt anything. Yesterday our parents had snow and they sent us pictures of it. It is soooo beautiful and we are so excited to see snow and feel the cold again after 3 years of straight heat. When I showed the pictures to the girls and told them that the snow is at Grandma's house, they started squealing with excitement. They are so excited to go. They constantly ask about Molly (our dog) too, who went up with Chad in October. It will be fun watching their reunion with her. We are down to just 11 days here in Juazeiro, and we have pretty much everything sold. All we have to sell yet is our highchair, toddler bed and a filing cabinet. You can be praying for a buyer for our car though. We were planning on taking it to a dealership, just so we would have less headaches and would be able to use it up until the end. But Chad went to a big dealership here and they told him they aren't buying cars right now because they just went 20 days without selling a single car. He said that because of this financial crisis, people aren't buying cars. So there is a guy at our church that is helping us to try and sell it. Pray that God sends the right person with the cash to pay for it.As the girls' language is developing, they are saying some really cute things. Yesterday Giselle was singing a song that at one part goes "My Jesus is alive". When I listened closely to her singing, I realized that she was singing, "My Jesus is my life" and she kept singing that line over and over. I thought that was such a good line, so I let it go and didn't even correct her :) The other day when Larissa was putting her sticker on the countdown calendar, she was trying to take off the backing of the sticker with no success. She looked up at me and said, "Mom, can you take this skin off for me?" Elysia loves playing with baby dolls and likes to wrap them up in a burp towel, sway back and forth holding them up to her shoulder and singing to them. The girls also like to pretend that they're breastfeeding their baby dolls - haha. The Countdown Calendar!! Elysia taking care of her baby. I found Elysia sitting like this watching TV.[...]



Here we go again...

2008-11-16T16:02:13.219-03:00

I am once again on my own, without my 'better half', for 10 days. This time he is headed to Peru... sure wish I could go along. I'm sure one day when our children are a little more grown up, I will be able to travel more with Chad. He left this afternoon for Fortaleza and will be there until midnight Tuesday night. That's when he flies out for Peru. He'll be there for almost a week. He gets back home on Wednesday afternoon, the 26th. And the following Tuesday we move!!! It is so crazy. There are days when it feels like time is going really fast, but at the same time there are days when I think to myself 'can't we just go already?!'. The grace that God has granted us is starting to lift and we are ready to move on. We are super excited for what lies ahead for us in PA. We are really excited to watch the girls' reactions to all of the new stuff - especially the cold weather! They have absolutely no idea what 'cold' is. The coldest it gets here is probably in the mid to upper 70's. Patience is something that runs thin when living in extreme heat like this. In fact, friends of ours were telling us that there are more murders in the city during this time of the year because people just flip out over every little thing. I even notice it with my patience with the girls, and have to watch myself. There are days where I am just miserable because of the heat and there's NOTHING you can do about it! Something Chad started doing recently to be able to fall asleep at night, is that he takes a hand towel, makes it wet and lays it on his chest as he lays in bed with a fan right by his side blowing over him. It is going to be quite the temperature shock for us, leaving the hottest time of year here and arriving there at the coldest time of year. Here are some more pictures... Callie, Giselle, Larissa & Elysia The two buddies 9 weeks old already! Chad's 31st birthday! Chad with his Spanish teacher, Marta, from Peru. the girls figured out a new way to 'ride' their tricycles these next few pictures were taken at the neighbor's house where they were playing with a skateboard. These neighbors have been such a blessing to us - the girls love it there and they help us out with the girls so much. [...]



Monkeys, etc.

2008-11-07T16:21:39.797-03:00

Time sure is winding down. 26 days from today until we begin our journey north. We leave Juazeiro on the 2nd. Chad's mom meets us in Fortaleza on the 3rd, and on the 5th we fly out! This first picture is of the countdown calendar I made for the girls and have it hanging on the refrigerator. Each morning we put a sticker over the previous day. Chad informed me that the calendar looks very 'girly', but I guess that's what happens when you have 4 little girls! Here are the girls ready for night-time devotions. Callie and I getting a little shut-eye Can anyone guess what these two pictures are??? The answer is under the next picture... No, not gum...... they were crayons that were left lay on the concrete outside in the hot sun. Just to give you an idea of the intensity of the heat here! Elysia with the kitten across the street. Elysia Priscila's little Giovanna & Callie sleeping next to eachother. This was at our friends' house on Sunday afternoon. They have mango trees, and there is a big family of little monkeys that live in them. We got bananas for them, and they came down really close to us to get them. There were even 2 that were carrying little babies on their backs. Priscila feeding the monkeys Here's one with a baby on its back. Giselle trying to feed the monkeys. Priscila & Giovanna Callie[...]



"Romaria"

2008-11-07T15:23:59.370-03:00

I mentioned in the last post about the pilgrimage (called Romaria in Portuguese) we were having here in Juazeiro because of the statue of Padre Cícero we have here. Chad was actually out with a group from YWAM distributing evangelistic material at the time I was writing the post. He had the camera and took a few pictures...(image)
(image)

(image)
(image) Here are busses that brought the people - lining a normally fairly empty street.






32 Days

2008-11-01T16:12:34.587-03:00

Today marks 32 days until we leave Juazeiro! Things are winding down quickly. Two weeks from tomorrow, Nov. 16th, Chad leaves for Peru. He will be gone for 10 days, getting back on the 26th. That is a Wednesday, and the following Tuesday we leave Juazeiro, go to Fortaleza for 2 days, and then on to good old Pennsylvania! Chad's mom will be flying down and meeting us in Fortaleza to help with the kids on the trip back. What a blessing that will be! Last night we sold our first household item... the playpen. That at least freed up some space in our little bedroom, which is serving as an office too. We have some buyers for some of our other things already too, but we're asking people to wait until the end to get the stuff. The girls were a bit confused as this strange person came in and we packed up the playpen and sent it with them. Please pray with us for buyers for all of our things. We have everything priced pretty low - we're not trying to make a mint off of our stuff, and we want to be able to sell it easily and not have to chase after buyers.Update on our kids' health: The last 2 posts have been about the stomach flu which came around twice. I'm guessing it was the stomach flu, but medically speaking it would have had to have been two different strands, right? At any rate, Giselle, Larissa and Elysia had it twice, although the 2nd time Giselle and Elysia didn't have vomiting, but just diarrhea. Larissa had it the worst both times. By Tuesday night they were all doing pretty good. However, Larissa continues to complain constantly about her belly hurting. It's gotten progressively worse and this morning she complained all morning. Worms are a problem down here, but I gave her medicine for that about 4 months ago, so it shouldn't be that already again. If she doesn't get better tomorrow I'll probably take her to the doctor on Monday. Please pray for her and for wisdom for me in what to do for her.This weekend is a HUGE pilgrimage to our city to visit the 'Padre Cícero' statue. Father Cícero was from Juazeiro and the people wanted him to be named a saint in the Catholic church, but then was not recognized as one (I'm not sure why). But even still, the people idolize him very much and they come from all over the country to 'pay their promise' to him. The statue is up on the top of a big hill overlooking the city, and people will climb up the mountain on their knees in hopes that he will answer their prayer in return for their suffering. The climb literally mangles their legs! It is truly sad, the faith people put in this dead person and think that they have to DO something so horrible and mutilating to their body in order to receive an answer to prayer. How opposite that theology is from the free gift of direct communion we have with God through Jesus! I wish I knew the number of people that come to the city for this pilgrimage... they used to say that the city doubles its population, which is 300,000. Chad went with the church to help with an evangelistic outreach this afternoon and evening to the 'romeiros', or the people who have come on this pilgrimage. Callie in Giovanna's crib with her. Just being her cute little self... Gotta like the bikini top... thanks aunt Rose :) The girls enjoying their swimming pool. I even got in with Callie for a little, but the girls splashed a little much for her liking.[...]



Round 2, ugh!!!

2008-10-28T14:54:20.468-03:00

In my last post, I talked about how our girls had the stomach flu. When I posted that, they had just gotten better... and they were healthy for a week! Yesterday it started again, and now all three of them have it again - Chad is even feeling it this time. I continue to feel fine though - let's pray it continues that way!! There are so many people sick just now, and everyone is blaming it on this heat! It is at least 105F this afternoon, and there's no relief in sight. Even at night it is hard to sleep with fans blowing right on us. So between the flu, Elysia's eye teeth coming in and this heat, it is the perfect recipe for a miserable household. So Chad ran to the mall today and came back with this little 'kiddy-pool'. Even though we're just here for another month, we thought it would be well worth the investment and the girls will get a lot of use out of it. As I write this, they haven't even seen it yet - they are napping and we set it up after they went to sleep. I'll post some pictures at a later date of them playing in it. My little climber! She's standing on the arms of the booster seat. You might remember some pictures I posted a while back of my friend Priscila who was pregnant and due a month after me. This is her little Giovanna, born Oct.1 and Callie in the back. I love this picture!! Ready for your nap?? Little photo-shoot after church... [...]



Flu, yuck!

2008-10-21T21:31:03.294-03:00

Chad got home safe and sound on Saturday, and it is so wonderful to have him back!! As a welcome home gift, Larissa got the stomach flu and had us up a good part of the night Saturday night changing bed sheets and running to the bathroom. Not pleasant!!! Sunday throughout the day was more of the same. Then on Monday afternoon, Giselle and Elysia both came down with it although theirs was not as severe as Larissa's was. As of now (Tuesday night) they are all in bed and seem to be over the flu.Callie is sleeping quite well. For the last 3 nights now, she has her last feeding at 10:30pm and sleeps until 4am, eats and sleeps until 7:30am. And she's a really fast eater, so I'm usually just up for 15 min. to nurse her and get her back to bed. So compared to the first 5 weeks, it feels like I'm sleeping through the night :) I know that actually sleeping through the night is just but a few weeks away! YAY!! But I can't complain, God has blessed us so much with good babies. I think He knew that it HAD to be that way or I would completely go insane! I always recuperate really fast from my c-sections (all 3 of them) too, and I completely give the credit to Him also. I feel like it's a gift He gave me... since we don't have family around to help us out, He just heals me quickly so I can get back to taking care of my family again. Living away from family and familiarity these past 7 years has really made us rely on God in a way we never had to before. We have truly been amazed time and time again in how He has provided for us and taken care of us. I even had to think of Larissa getting sick - thank the Lord it happened once Chad was here to help me out! I can just see His hand at work daily. Giving Callie her medication for her stuffy nose - it is much better! I took the girls over to the neighbor's house Sat. morning before Chad got home, and they played in her little pool. They had so much fun. The above picture is Giselle under the water. Larissa playing with the neighbor-girl's makeup. She LOVES putting lipstick on. She is our little 'Miss Priss' - loves dressing up, pink is her favorite color, etc. Giselle, on the other hand, could care less about dressing up, blue is her favorite color, etc. It's so much fun watching their personalities form. Callie - the little 'chubster' Elysia 'reading' to Callie I've talked about the heat before... this is our 'windtunnel'. Every night we have 4 fans running in the girls' room - one on each bed. It has been so hot that we have to give the girls showers before their afternoon nap, or they can't sleep. It's been hard on Chad adapting to the heat again after being in the states. Last night he didn't sleep until 1am, and he had even gotten up at midnight and showered to see if that would help him cool off and fall asleep. By the way - doesn't the girls' room look like an orphanage with all the cribs and beds in one room?!?! Little miss smiley. We're getting more and more of those smiles every day, and often accompanied by a coo. I think it's a gift for Chad to be able to read with a little girl standing on him like this! He's reading a book called "The Shack" by Wm. Paul Young, and says it is absolutely amazing. I hope to find time to read it next. [...]



Just 3 more days!

2008-10-15T16:06:01.501-03:00

Things continue to go well here, as I'm down to just 3 days until Chad's return... YAY!!!!! God has just blessed me with some wonderful people who are helping me out. Saturday night the three girls who have been taking turns sleeping here, went with the girls and I to the mall. My poor girls were cooped up at home all week long, so they really needed to get out! Below are a few pictures of us at the restaurant we ate at. With 4 of us adults, there was one for each child - that worked out really nice. The girls did good and Elysia slept the entire time - never even knew she left home. Callie has been having some nose-related breathing problems. Right before Chad left, the girls all got colds. Callie also started having a stuffy nose. At first, I thought it was just the same cold the girls had. But her nose never ran (in fact, I rarely saw any mucus at all) and she wasn't coughing. I talked to the pediatrician over the phone, and she told me to use a nasal spray and see if it helped. So I did that, but it just kept getting worse, while the rest of the girls' colds got better. So on Monday I took her to the pediatrician, and she thinks it is allergy-related. She gave me anti-allergy nasal drops and I also had to buy a machine called a nebulizer to give her medication that is inhaled. It has a mask that I put up to her face and the medication comes out in a vapor and she inhales it. She takes it twice a day. It does seem to be getting better. There is just sooooo much dust here, and it is sooooo hot, so MANY people deal with allergies. Chad even deals with them here, and he never did in the states. So I'm confident that when we move to the states she won't have any more problems. Here are a few more pictures - I tried laying her on her belly to see if it would help her breathe better. And the last picture is of her taking her medication (it was cute the way she had her hand on the mask)... and I was by myself, so I had to take the picture myself - that's why the angle isn't the best. [...]



This 'n That

2008-10-11T14:11:26.703-03:00

Chad has been gone 5 days already... just 7 more to go. It has been going really well and actually fast for me. A few girls from the church have been helping me out and one of them always sleeps here. The girls have all been battling colds this week, so that hasn't been fun. Larissa is almost completely better, Giselle is getting there, but Elysia's is really taking its good old time. Callie has had a stuffy nose all week, but that's it. It's worse at night, so our nights haven't been so good. She wakes up crying, and I'm sure it's because she's having trouble breathing. The doctor told me to use a sodium chloride nasal spray, but it doesn't seem to be making a huge difference.Chad's flights all went well and Molly got there fine - a little worked up from the trip, but she adjusted quickly and is loving it at the Miller house. The one major bummer is that the airlines lost his suitcase! He got there Thursday morning and when I talked to him Friday morning I forgot to ask him if they had delivered it yet. I guess it's better that they lost the luggage and not Molly!Giselle and Larissa are really starting to talk a lot of Portuguese. In one sense, it's sad that we're leaving, just when they are really picking up the language. When Brazilians are here, they talk mostly Portuguese to them, but with us they speak almost all English. It's funny though - they will say a sentence but it will be mixed English/Portuguese. The other day Larissa said to one of the girls here, "Vamos play bola" (Let's play ball). Every now and then they will say a Portuguese word that I would have never known that they know. We hope to speak Portuguese in our house when we get to the states so that they don't lose it. I know that's easier said than done, but we want to try.I am so glad to say that I am finally over my 2-month-long skin allergy!!! It appears to have either been the boxed milk or drying our clothing out under the cashew tree. I cut both of those things, and it got better. I won't be trying one or the other though to figure it out - it's just not worth it!!These are the cashew fruit that I talked about in the last post. We have a tree of them behind our house, and they are dropping like crazy right now. They're really tiny though - a good cashew fruit is much bigger - like maybe the size of a pear. They hang from the tree 'upside down' - the nut hangs off the bottom.Callie just starting giving us smiles. Her very first deliberate smile was to Chad on the day before he left. That was really special for him. This morning I got a big open-mouth smile and coo from her. It is so much fun when they start to respond to us! Yesterday she was 5 weeks old. Chad got the suitcase out to pack, and Elysia promptly curled up in it with her blankey as if she was going to sleep in it. Then they all thought it would be fun to crawl in... The above picture is of Elysia 'eating' a yogurt by herself. I obviously wasn't paying attention to her and when I did look at her, this is what I saw. Then the doorbell rang... when I got back to the table, the picture below is what I returned to... she thought it wasn't enough to have it all over her face - she needed it in the hair too![...]



Busy, busy, busy

2008-10-03T22:59:47.946-03:00

Yup, that was me the past 2 weeks. It really has been crazy, and I am often amazed at the abundance of grace God has given us right now in our lives. I feel like I have a lot to write about, so I'm going to pick out some topics and share a little on each.One area of busyness for me was paperwork, and more paperwork! First was getting all of our documents in order to go to Fortaleza to the American consulate to apply for Callie's passport, birth abroad certificate, and social security number. Just a few days before we went to Fortaleza, I found out that they now require a document proving that you resided in the states for at least a year before you turned 18 (for your child to have the right to American citizenship), so I had to call our schools and get transcripts. Thankfully in this wonderful age of technology, they were able to e-mail them to me. We went to Fortaleza this week and got it all taken care of...one thing checked off the list! Secondly, Chad is taking our dog, Molly, along to the states with him next week. As you can imagine, this also requires paperwork, shots, etc. After making many phone calls and finding out exactly what we need to do, the paperwork & Molly are ready to go.Drastic change of topic... let me tell you about the heat here! Right around the time Callie was born, it got suddenly extremely hot here. That is normal for this time of year. We will be leaving here at the hottest time of year and arriving in the states at the coldest time of year. That will be quite the temperature shock for all of us - especially the girls! Anyway... it averages 95F during the day, with absolutely no wind. It is just a very intense dry heat. At 10pm, for example, the temperature is still in the low 80's. Just to give you an idea - the other day I did a load of laundry and hung it out in the afternoon in the shade with no breeze what-so-ever. An hour and a half later I checked it and it was dry!! We are also going through about 2 1/2 gallons of drinking water a day - just our family. We have a water cooler which holds 5-gallon bottles, and we're changing them about every other day.The girls are doing good - keeping me busy. Callie is 4 weeks old today, and we're in a pretty good routine with her (especially during the day). She still usually wakes up twice at night to eat, although there have been a few nights where she just woke up once. She is a very good baby and I think she's really close to smiling 'on purpose'. Giselle and Larissa are into imagining and play so good together. Elysia likes to follow along and join in too. If you are having trouble with our girls' names, maybe their Brazilian nicknames would be easier for you to remember :) Here they are: Gigí (Gee-GEE), Lalá (La-LA), Lilí (Lee-LEE) & Kaká (Kah-KAH).As I mentioned, Chad is headed to the states next week. He flies to Fortaleza on Monday, takes care of a few things there on Tuesday, and leaves for PA on Wednesday (arriving Thurs. morn.). He'll be there for a week and gets back here on Saturday, the 18th. He will be gone from here a total of 12 days. Please remember the girls and I in your prayers over that time. It's no fun for us when he travels, but the Lord always gives me the grace for it. I will have one of the young girls at church sleep here while he's gone - it will also be nice to have someone to help with the girls in the evening. After that trip, Chad will be here for a month and then he goes to Peru for a week. He gets back from that trip just a week and a half before we move back to the states! So needless to say, these next 2 months are [...]



Pics...

2008-10-03T14:31:00.469-03:00

I've been absent for the past 2 weeks... here are some pictures for your enjoyment... Don't think Giselle could smile any bigger!! How about that double chin on Callie... not bad for 4 weeks old, huh?!?! Elysia giving Callie a kiss. Cute little feet... I think she's going to have little toes like me. Happy dream... Peaceful Already playing guitar! Precious Moments! "What are YOU lookin'at??" Callie's sisters are constantly loving on her. I just love the way babies sleep all stretched out... or is she praising Jesus?? This is what happens when a 16-mo. old plays with markers unsupervised! [...]



Big Smiles

2008-09-17T13:51:09.918-03:00

Here are some more pictures of Callie. She smiles a lot - you know, those lightning-fast smiles that come and go so quickly. Somehow this morning I managed to catch 2 with the camera! She was all dressed up to go to the doctor for her first check-up. She's 12 days old, and has already gained 12 ounces since birth and grew a little over an inch! She is doing so good - just waking up twice at night to feed... I'm quite ready for that to drop to 1 feeding at night. But I can't complain - she is a very content baby and only fusses when she's hungry. And even at night, she just wakes up to nurse and goes right back to sleep. She never had her nights and days mixed up where she wanted to be awake at night. We are so blessed.[...]



Elysia's 'Mullet' & Larissa's dilema...

2008-09-15T21:31:23.691-03:00

First I'll start with Larissa's story, which happened the other day. I had just finished feeding Callie, and Larissa crawled up on the bed and asked to hold her. I put Callie in her lap and she cradled her head in her arm like a good big sister. All of a sudden, Callie turned her head towards Larissa’s chest with her mouth open. Larissa wasn’t wearing a shirt, and she got an alarmed look on her face, looked from Callie’s mouth to her own chest, and quickly took her free hand and put it over her nipple to protect it from Callie’s searching mouth. That was the point that she was done holding her little sister….Now for an explaination of Elysia's mullet. About a week or so ago, I noticed that her hair was really thin right on the top. At first I was alarmed and thought, "oh no, is her hair falling out??" But then it hit me... I had seen her pulling fist-fulls of hair out once or twice before, so I figured that must be what's happening. Well, it's gotten worse since then. She must do it in bed or something, because I rarely see her doing it, except for yesterday I did see her yank a fist-full of hair out of the top of her head. Well, the result is that all of the hair on the top and sides is really short, and the hair in the back is long. Today I pulled the back hair into a ponytail, and that really made it noticable. Hopefully she soon stops it so her hair can grow back in!!! Here are 2 pictures of Callie from today's bath. She sure is filling out already. [...]



Pictures

2008-09-14T21:52:52.099-03:00

A few quick pictures...(image)
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Introducing... Callie Tristan Miller

2008-09-08T20:00:25.638-03:00

Here are some pictures of our newest addition... Callie Tristan Miller. She was born Friday, Sept. 5th at 6:40pm. She weighed 7lb. 5oz. (3.320kg) and was 19 1/4 inches (49cm) long. The c-section went very well. We got to the hospital at 5pm, the doctor got there a little after 6, and by 6:40 she was born. Since this is my 3rd c-section in such a short amount of time, my recuperation is going a little slower this time around. But let me just brag about my husband a second... he has taken on all of the responsibility of the housework and the 3 girls while I'm resting up. This morning he took care of breakfast, cleaned the kitchen, did 2 loads of laundry (including hanging it up to dry), swept and mopped the floors, and went grocery shopping... all before lunch! We have also been blessed with amazing neighbors who have been helping out with keeping the 3 girls. They kept them while we were in the hospital and tonight the girls are there while Daddy went to play some basketball... he still needs to get out of the house and clear his head a little after all that housework!! But we just see how God has been so faithful to provide for us in all areas. This family next door is a Christian family and they have 3 teenage daughters (ages 16, 18 & 19) who love kids, and practically beg us to let our girls go over and play. They have just been such a blessing. Anyway... on to some pictures... My good friend Priscila (who is due in a month). The nurses at the hospital kept asking which one of us was having the baby. Last pregnant picture! She's definitely a sucker! Teaching Elysia how to give "aye-ayes" Doesn't Elysia look so big now?!?She loves being swaddled up... not for long though in this heat. She'll soon have some good baby fat on her and will want to just be in a diaper all the time![...]



Waterpark

2008-09-05T07:07:33.536-03:00

The first big news is that our little girl is going to be born tonight by c-section! We are so excited to finally meet her and see what she looks like!! Giselle and Larissa are super excited to meet their little sister, and Giselle keeps saying that she's going to take care of her "all by herself". Elysia's pretty clueless, but I'm sure she'll be all curious and excited once she sees her... especially the way she already likes to play with dollies.

Last Saturday we went to a little water park with the girls. Giselle absolutely loved it - she is our little fish. There is a wide slide leading from one kiddy-pool down to another, which you can see in the middle of the 3rd picture (isn't that a gorgeous backdrop?!? Click on the picture to get a better idea of how beautiful it was!). Chad and Giselle must have gone down that slide like 50 times. She just loved it! Larissa had fun too, but she is much more reserved and only went down the slide a few times. I even went down 2 times... Chad said the life-guard who was monitoring the slide kinda looked at me like I was crazy with this huge belly, but it was fun.(image)
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(image) Yesterday the girls were having fun drawing out on the porch, and I thought it was so cute the way they lined up in a row, each with their own paper and pen. Elysia seems so old, doing everything her big sisters do!
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