Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ripons 51st Almond Blossom Festival

Well, today is one of the many days when I really miss my friends, family and home town. :(  I really wish I could be there to enjoy Ripons 51st Almond Blossom Festival. This happens the last weekend of Februrary every year. This time of year is sometimes very sunny and nice and other times cold and rainy....however, rain or shine the festival MUST go on!! :) I only recall one year it was closed down due to heavy rain and wind. A memory I have of that days is my brothers and I looking out the window and begging the rain n wind to go away so we could go to the festival. It was a sad day, let me tell you :)

The festival usually runs Thursday-Sunday and includes several fun activities  like Art Shows, Spaghetti Dinner, Queen Court, Diaper Derby, Dinner and Dancing, a Carnival with rides and booths, and a parade on Saturday afternoon. The Almond Blossom trees usually come out around this time of year which coats the ground with beautiful white and pink blossoms and fills the air with the smell of Spring!! Oh how I miss seeing my nieces n nephews and friends' kids watching the parade and enjoying the carnival. I wish I could be there to experience the tradition that my grandparents, parents, myself and brothers and now nieces and nephews get to experience!! :(   What I wouldn't give to see my niece n nephews faces on the rides and seeing the clowns and things in the parade.

I am missing them soooo much. :(  Especially since I haven't seen or gotten to talk to them or hear from my brothers or very many people since December......Wish people would USE the internet for things like communicating and respond when I write them.....As much as it hurts to not have many family and friends communicate with me here in Brasil, I am starting to give up even trying to keep in contact anymore....people don't "have time" to invest in a relationship with Jair and I, yet have time to do it with everyone else....I am done...we are done.....The very few that DO keep in contact I make sure and let them know how appreciative we are of that and their relationship/relationship with us....If only everyone could experience for a period of time in their life with living far away and not having family close....then they can feel the lonliness and emptinessa and importance that it is to keep in contact...... :/  Of coarse our lives aren't always to revolve around our friends and family and of coarse work and our own personal families DO take up a lot of time....but not every single second of every single day. And what do you take to heaven with you??? Your relationships that you built here on earth....

Anyway.....Along with these fun times of year comes a lot of homesickness.:( I love my city, state, friends and family and never imagined I would move from there....but would love to move back some day if God allows. But for now, Jair and I are enjoying the life God has blessed us with in Brasil!!! I am really loving and blessed by the friends God has placed in my life here. Every week I meet a new person from somewhere and enjoy getting to know them....just missing the CLOSE friendships that you have with your bff and things....but of coarse in time this will happen and I agree that God places people in your lives for a time and a season.....and some for life.... We have our inteview date at the end of March for Jairs visa to the US and then after that we will see when, where, how long, etc. until we move somewhere....Its been almost 3 years here and we are both ready for a change. (for those of you that don't know my husband very well, he has moved around ALOT in his life beacuse his dad was high up in the military and for this Jair doesn't like to settle in one place for too long.....praying someday we can settle down in one place where we can BOTH call it home....) But anyway. We are getting ready for a new transition in our lives and if you think of us, please pray for us!!! We have NO IDEA what is going to happen and if we will be able to move to Texas or another place in Brasil or another country (London anyone???? :) But we have peace since our lives are in Gods hands. Thanks for anyone who reads this and prays! We adore and covet any and all prayers!!

                                    HAPPY 2013 ALMOND BLOSSOM EVERYONE!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lots of changes in 2013

I can't believe January 2013 is already almost over....CRAZY how fast time goes as I get older. I always heard adults say this, but until I became and adult I never truly understood.

Along with 2013 comes ALOT of new, fun, exciting, scary, sad, hard times ahead. Some days I am EXTREMLY excited to see where God leads us and other days I tend to fall into the stress. We have been working since June/July last year on getting Jairs green card. Prayerfully we worked on the paper work and process on our own. I am SOOOO glad God gave me someone like Jair. When we read what the National Visa Center asked of us, I understood one thing and he understood another and we talked it out and worked it out and went with our gut feeling. With Gods grace we DID IT!!! We finished all of our work at the begining of January and recently received our interview date for March 21st!!! We are excited but then feel like everything is happening SOOOO fast. BUT, we both know things in Brasil can go totally opposite as we expect or the rest of our process could take a long time....We have NO IDEA what Jair's work will say when he asks for his transfer and after that how long the paper work for that will take.

Though we are EXTREMLY happy to see how God is leading and we are excited to finally get to be on our own and have our own freedoms, with that also comes saddness with saying "good-bye" or "see you later" to those we have come to love and know here in Belém and Brasil. Most all of Jairs mom n dads side of that family is here in Belém and although we aren't extremly close to them, it will be hard to say goodbye. Our dear and God-sent American Missionary friends and their kids are what I am going to miss TERRIBLY. We have come along side them and tried to be of any help we could while we were here. They are incredible people, amazing Christians, and such fun and loving friends. I have adopted their kids as my nieces n nephews!! LOVE THEM!!! Also my friends I have met at church, the gym and anywhere I can make a friend will be hard to leave. I have enjoyed getting to know them all and see their smiles, go to pizza, have bible studies with, and just invest quality time in them all. God has trully blessed us for the 2 1/2 years we have been here, but we know and are ready to begin a NEW life in a NEW place with a NEW outlook on life!!

If you think of us, please join us in praying for our future. We are trying to be patient and enjoy EACH moment we have here. We are taking one day at a time and sometimes just putting one foot in front of the other and following Gods will. Oh how blessed we are to be in HIS will....His GOOD and PERFECT will!!

                                                         BRING IT ON 2013!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

*A day late*

August 14, 2012 

Not sure if anyone reads this anyway, but can't believe its been 2 years. Part of me feels like it was just yesterday and part of me feels like its been F O R E V E R already. I guess cause we've known each other for 7 years already! WoW.

 I will never forget the first time Jair said "I love you." I spent the day in San Francisco with my friends Cassy, Chrstina and Kim. We were walking on Pier 39 and I got a call from Brasil. It was Jair. He was just calling to see what I was doing and how I was doing. He was extremely busy with finishing up and graduating from the Institute of Military Engineering (IME) in Rio de Janeiro. So to get a phone call from him was VERY special in and of itself. After we talked for a few minutes and I said I wished he was here with me to enjoy beautiful SF he had to go and ended our conversation with an "I love you." I can tell you that the smile he gave me that day lasted several days! :) No every time he says "I love you" it puts a warm smile on my heart. I love you, too, Jair!! You are my best friend, my love, my family, my encourager, my leader in our home/marriage (after God). You are my everything and I love you with all of my heart!! 

These last 2 years haven't been the easiest I must say, but being married to Jair has been a piece of cake ;)~ He is an incredible man of God and husband and everything that I could ever need. I am sure him living with me (emotional, sad at times, lonely, moody, grumpy me....) is a lot harder on him! :) Even though these last 2 years haven't been all newlywed bliss, they have been amazing and such a growing experience for us. We wouldn't change them for anything! The times we both get to go away (to Rio, São Paulo, Fortaleza, Brasilia etc) are soooooo incredibly fun and relaxing! In some ways Jairs job is  a blessing cause the 14-21 days he sometimes has off are so fun to get to know each other allllll over again. I love having him home day and night with me and us being able to go and do whatever we want, whenever we want :) The hard times come when Jair is gone for 14 days (or like this long stretch...every WEEK for all of August, September and not sure about October). When I am alone and I begin to think about what I am missing back nieces n nephew, cousins and family moving back to CA that were like my own sisters, friends and family getting married, new babies coming, birthday parties, summer BBQs, sicknesses, new jobs, new homes etc.....THATs when my heart aches and Satan begins to attack. Thats when I get depressed and don't have good thoughts. Thats when I cry my eyes out for hours and wish there was some way we could move back to CA.....but then, often times, God grabs ahold of my heart and reminds me that HE is in control and HE knows what is best and HE loves me no matter what. I am reminded that God put me here for a reason and I am here to learn and grow and be in the present....of coarse that doesn't take away the pain and homesickness (saudades) of being away from my friends and family....but it helps me to see that God is in control of my life. I died to my old self and am living FOR Him. My goal here in Brasil is to be a shining light to others. I have made tons of friends but not many personal ones. However, its nice to see the familiar faces and see their smile when I talk to them. God is not done with us yet and He is still writing our life story. We are praying and continue to pray for HIS guidance wherever HE needs/wants us to be!! Until then, I am trying to just be still. Wait. Have patience that people back home won't forget about us. (as it oh so often feels like) And just wait IN the Lord for his will to be done.

These last 2 years have been such a growing experience in my life and I'm sure Jairs too. Our patience has been tested OHHHH so many times with things breaking down here left and right and no one wanting to fix it for over 7 months....among other things. Our love, growth, forgiveness, patience, words etc have blossomed over these last 2 years as well. I love Jair with all of my heart and can't wait to see what God does in his life and our life as we continue to seek out his will. Things can only get better from here on out, right??? Thats what they all say!! Happy 2 years and many many more to us, baby!! Love you <3 nbsp="nbsp" p="p">

August 14, 2010

Honeymoon in Paris, France

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Going home for Christmas

I can't believe our time is here....

The last few weeks have felt like f o r e v e r. It honestly feels like Jair has been gone for a month or more. I truly hate these times he is gone, but we are soo blessed by his job and he loves it so that makes me happy.

Tonight around midnight we head for the airport and at 3am leave for Brasilia. PRAYING Jair can change his tickets to come to Belém first and then Brasiia cause i have no idea how Nanci and I would get my two large, heavy, packed full suitcases down 3 levels with no elevator :/ But I know God is in control and everything will work out!!! Then tomorrow night we will be in Birmingham, Alabama!!!!! Yeahhh. Not sure if we will like the cold, but we are SUPER excited to spend some time with David, Renata and Sofia. Friday Renata is having a Christmas party so I'm hoping to help Renata cook, clean and take care of Sofia :) I miss that girl sooo much. Kids are my passion and I miss them all greatly.....

Then Dec 14 we head to Cali and David, Renata and Sofia head for Brasil :) SUPER excited to be spending Christmas with MY family this year. I have been in Brasil the last two times. It's going to be fun cause I haven't celebrated a Christmas with Cora ever and now Josh n I are also married, so we will all be together!!! :) Christmas in Brasil has been nice the last few years. Thankful for a HOT Christmas and so fun to experience different starting Christmas celebrations and the big dinner on Christmas eve, Talk about hard to stay awake lol It's been fun, but I am ready to be with my family. :) Who knows how many more times we will all be able to be together, so taking this opportunity to be filled with joy!! :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

I know I dont blog very much these days....and thats mostly because I never get comments which makes me feel like no one whats the point to blog n post pics if no one cares???......but then I thought, maybe its just a good way to get things off my who knows...

First off, Id like to say that I am SOOO blessed beyond what I deserve. God is my rock and shield and he is my everything. I wouldn't be alive today if it weren't for him. He is my best friend and the only person I can ALWAYS count on to be there for me, be a listening ear, and offer advice and guide my footsteps. Often timees we, as humans and especially Christians, get so comfortable in our life. God didn't put us on this earth to always be comfortable. Thats why I was so willing to move to Brasil to support my hubby in his career. Of coarse I didn't want to leave my friends, family and life I've always known, but at the same time I knew I needed to STEP OUT OF THE BOAT. I knew I wasn't put on this earth to just live comfortably. I prayed through it all and to this day, thank my Heavenly Father for his continued guidance, love, support, care, concern and help to name a few. Its not easy moving to a whole new country with whole new beliefs and ideas and ways of doing things. Speaking a new language. Driving amongst the chaos. Always having to watch your back and purse and belongings. Being careful not to say something in their language wrong so they dont get offended or confused. Sitting in church trying to worship, but not really knowing whats being said or sang. Meeting new people and trying to talk with them and get to know them and build relationships with them, but being frustrated because you just CANT get the right words out. UGHHH! I just want to KNOW Portuguese already!!!! :)

Its also so hard to be away from friends and family and even with all this new technology, they just seem too busy to pick up a fone and call or email or write. I know I know I know...I dont work, have school, have kids my life is WAY less stressful. TRUE. I totally agree. BUT at the same time, I just wish EVERYONE would have a chance to move to another country and be alone....and see how it feels...even just a scheduled once a week or once a month phone call would be nice....My other American friends that are here get phone calls, emails, mail, care packages etc and they are so blessed and grateful for them! I just have to think.....that would be nice.....But I know everyone has crazy busy lives and their own families and thats SOO important. Thats why I never say anything, but just wish they all knew what it was like to live in a far away land and not have family close. Its hard. VERY hard. My heart breaks to not be a part of the things my friends and family are. To not see my nieces and nephew grow. To not help my bro n sis in law with their new house. To not celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, births, holidays, weddings etc. ....BUT through these hard times I HAVE to rely on my Heavenly Father or else I'd go crazy.

With all of that said, I truly am blessed here. God put me here for a reason and put that desire to share his love in my heart for a purpose. I have made a lot of "friends" or acquaintances you could say and have been really trying to let Gods light shine in me and through me. Its hard not having a  b i g vocabulary, but I know God is still using me. I have met so many wonderful people at the gym, grocery store, mall and just anywhere. Some still stare at me and follow me around....maybe cause they've never seen a real live, blonde blue eyed American....but through it all my goal and purpose is to bring people closer to Christ. God has blessed me with wonderful friends and family here from church and Jairs family and I am so appreciative of them too. Although I wish I could TALK more with them.....and see them more often. They are all busy here too. But God has also allowed Jair and I to come across some American Missionaries that are starting a new church here. We felt God calling us to help them in any way we can. So far we have been attending their at home bible study. Jair goes to the study and I help in the childrens study with one child who we think has autism. My job for now is to just hold him and keep him quiet so his searching mom can learn more about the bible. I hope to learn the songs and bible study lessons too, as they are all in Portugeuse and what better way for me to learn than to learn like a child!! :) So we have been really blessed by that. And we are also a part of their small at home church on Sunday nights. We go between the Fowlers house and the Kings house and once a month we all go to another city about 45 min away to worship with their church. So God trully has been blessing us. Its ESPECIALLY nice to have some American friends close by to speak English with, celebrate both Brasil and American holidays, learn from, grow from, get new recipes from ;) and just be encouraged by!! I have also been able to start a little bible study/prayer group with some of my Brasilian friends and that has been a goal of mine! This last week I was also invited to the Kings house to help teach them how to teach their son the alphabet I was able to use some of my expertise and teaching skills and give ideas which is something I have REALLY been missing.....teaching and kids. GOD IS GOOD!

So all in all, we (I) am blessed. God has protected us, kept us safe, worked out details with doccuments etc, brought new people into our lives, taken away others (lots of my old friends that lived here have basically all moved away or gotten married and moved or went away to college....kinda sucks, but thankful for the new ones:). Hes blessed us with a home and slowly putting things inside of it, given us opportunities to travel, kept us both pretty healthy (except for Jairs triglyceroids which we are finding out runs in his family), provided a car that is AMAZING (and I recently put some scratches on from parking too close to a concrete pole....grrrrr) and allowed us to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. God loves his children and wants what's best for us. We need to be open and aware of HOW and WHERE God wants to use us! That may mean outside of your world or it might be right in your backyard. But dont let life get in the way of you living this short life for Christ!! We have and will continue to pray about the possibility of Jair transfering to Texas (I would prefer CA....but there isn't an oil field there) in the next few years, but even with this move I hope we can be the light of Christ and share it with others. If you want, you can join us in prayer about this. I, personally, dont want to start a family here for MANY reasons....but we both know that if it happens GOD IS IN CONTROL and he will guide us!!

If you made it this far, thanks!! It feels good to get some things from my head and heart to paper...or a screen...I really do love and appreciate everyone God has placed in my life and I am SOOO grateful for the few who try their best to communicate!! Thanks Dani, for our constant chats. Even if we are both busy its just the "Hi, how are you doing" that makes a difference. Connie B., Thanks for our random skype dates/chats. You are a blessing and I know you are busy with Emma and Tyler and it means a lot. Im thankful for the few times Ive gotten to skype with Jay n Jess and my parents and see how they are all doing and chat with my sweet n adorable Gav n Cora. MISSING THEM LIKE CRAZY. And I am thankful for a few of my friends who skype once in a while or chat or leave me comments on FB. Its nice to know you aren't forgotten.....cause alot of times it feels/seems like I am. I am so blessed with you all and love you dearly. God bless and have a wondeful Fall/Thanksgiving and Christmas. EXCITED to prayerfully be coming in Dec!!! GOD IS GOOD!

One of my theme verses while living here in Brasil:

Philippians 4:4-9

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Home again Home again Jiggity Jig...................

I am so privaleged and blessed to have been able to come to the US for exactly 3 months!!! God has blessed me so much and my husband is so wonderful for letting me go for that amount of time. I had such a great time visiting friends and family from Florida ---->Alabama---->California---->Indiana---->to Ohio!!!
Weddings, Birthdays, Suprise Parties, Babysitting, Shopping, New Births, Coffee Dates, Lunch dates, Almond Blossom, Easter and lots of packing!!!! I wish it didn't go so fast, but at the same time I'm excited to be HOME!! One more day until I get to spend it with my husband. I love him soooo incredibly much! Can't wait to start decorating our house to make it our home!!! Already looking forward to seeing some of you in December (prayerfully)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Im soooooooooo excited to be going "home" to California. I NEED this time away....but wish my hubby could be with me :(  I can't wait to have my freedom back and be able to go wherever I want when I want!! :)  Just like now...I was ready to go to the gym at 10, but just received a call that my ride wont be here till 3 now....I hate going in the afternoon.....but when I have to rely on others, guess I go when they have time....not when I have time....

Being away from Jair is soooooooo hard. It was a blessing yesterday to not receive his phone call at 9 am saying he made it to the other city by plane, but to receive HIM cause his flight was cancelled until the night. One more day together, THANK YOU LORD! God blesses us so much! I am so lucky. But.....saying goodbye 2 times in one day was soo difficult for me. I cried like a baby last night and couldn't stop. It felt like our dating times again when we only say eachother 1 or 2 times a year. The departures were rough....OH how I hope I can become used to this one day....Until now, I will just cry like a baby!!