Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Stairway

It seems that once again I have great reason to thank God for protecting me and my family. Traveling to Sophia's ballet class by taxi means being dropped off downtown, walking a few blocks, and then facing the dauntingly steep staircase that snakes up the hill to the ballet school.

I'd heard many stories of people being attacked on the staircase, as the dense foliage on either side can conceal robbers who "pop out of nowhere". Though I was always alert and cautious using the staircase, I never actually felt in danger. The sun shines through the tall trees on either side, and usually Sophia and Edison loudly count off the steps in either Spanish or English to pass the time. My greatest concern was just making sure neither of them took a tumble down the unforgiving concrete steps.

Yesterday I climbed up the stairs with Sophia in mid-afternoon; on our way to a ballet end-of-the-year ceremony. Halfway up, three young men came walking out of the foliage to my left, which startled me, but I just made certain to make eye contact with each one as if to say I see you, I'll remember your face so don't even think about it. I was glad to reach the ballet school without incident.

After the ceremony, I felt that I should ask my friend Daniela if she was driving straight home, and if so, if she would drop us off (they live close to us). She heartily agreed and proceeded to invite us over for coffee so our little ones could play together. We had a wonderful time.

Today I was told that after the ballet ceremony, one of the male students went walking down the staircase (where Sophia and I would have been if we hadn't gone with Daniela), and was attacked, stabbed, and robbed by an unknown number of assailants. He is doing fine; the wound was not serious, praise God!

I don't know of course whether they would have attacked me, Sophia being with me, but if they would stab someone just to steal, I can't imagine they'd have many scruples to begin with. Either way, I thank God that he led us away from that area and that he protected the young man from serious harm.

Thanks for your continued prayers for our family!

Sarah

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Locked-In....

To My Most Amiable Readers....

I am locked-in my house so I figured I might as well update my blog. Yes, locked-in, well, in order not to be locked-out. Dustin left for a three day trip in the Andes and I discovered I don't have any keys. And I've got those handy doors that automatically lock when you shut them. And two happy-go-lucky-door-shutting kids. So....

Our digital camera died. On our roadtrip up north it up and froze on me, not even retreating the lens back into the camera body...just...capput. It was then that I realized how photo-dependent I'd become when it comes to blogging...I don't blog until I have a picture to tell the story.

In other news, it's summer here! The kids and I have been spending lots of time outside (when not locked-in), running through sprinklers, drawing with sidewalk chalk, and chatting with the neighbors. Today Sophia gave away one of her My Little Ponies to our neighbor's daughter. I almost stopped her (what? you can't just give your toys away?!), then realized that she's living out what we teach her; to share, to give even when it hurts, to give joyfully. I'm glad God dwells in her, and that He teaches me through her sometimes.

Edison is in the throes of potty-training, which means I'm in the throes of washing lots of soiled linens...ewwww. I know, I know...this too shall pass.

Reuben is learning how to smile : ). It starts in the eyes..they get all squinty and cheery and then the mouth starts to wiggle and all of a sudden...blissful smile. I absolutely eat it up.

Do you feel like you know me well? For some odd reason I've been having this inner dialogue where I interview myself: "What is your favorite place to be when it's raining?", self responds: "I would have to say....in a warm bath by candlelight, but with a window open so I can smell and hear the rain". "The oddest thing you like to snack on?", self responds: "water crackers smeared with cream cheese with a dollop of jam on top". "Where would you go at a moment's notice if you could?", self responds: "Italy, Egypt, Israel, Zimbabwe, Thailand, India, Brazil, The Caribbean, France, Croatia....was I supposed to only pick one?". Why am I doing this? Does anyone else have such inner madness going on?

Ok...."Should you go to bed now, before you start scaring your readers?"

Probably.

Your Most Devoted,
Sarah

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Look! A Reuben Sandwich!!

Hola to my most amiable readers!
We just returned from a wonderful vacation to the sunny north of Chile. We needed to go to Santiago to go to the embassy to get Reuben's paperwork filed, so decided to make a fun road trip out of it. First stop was Chillan, a beautiful ski area where we rented a cabana and enjoyed the mountain views and the acclaimed street market. Then we headed north to Santiago, visiting the embassy to do paperwork and enjoying the urban landscape. What architecture!!! Leaving Santiago we enjoyed endless miles of vineyards in the thick of wine country. I could just feel my soggy Puerto Montt lungs drying out, and my feet were quite happy to be in flip-flops again. (For those who don't know, Puerto Montt is like Seattle in rainfall, and in general makes one feel like a living sponge.) Heading further north we poked around Vina del Mar and Valparaiso, admiring the stunning beaches and towering buildings. From there we headed down to Pichilemu, a surfer's heaven, where the waves hit 25 feet high during our visit. From there we found an awesome cabana...hammocks everywhere, beautiful plants and flowers, fountains, pools, and cheerful proprietors. What a trip!

Along the coast in Vina del Mar.

A fine merlot in front of the vines it came from.

Sophia and Edison at the street market in Chillan.
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Monday, November 19, 2007

What A Doll...

I guess I need to be more specific when I tell the kids to put away their toys. They sure love Reuben; they don't love how much of my time he takes. The other day he took a nice long nap and I was able to spend time with Sophia and Edison making chocolate thumbprint cookies. Edison's thumb made such a little print that he had to do two or three prints each cookie ; ). I hope to make a different kind of cookie each week with the kids leading up to Christmas and freeze half of each batch so we can assemble cookie trays.
Meet Panda Bear. Edison goes to sleep clutching him tight (after kissies of course, or "fissies" as Edison calls them). And each morning we wake up to toddler jibber jabber coming from his room as he tells his panda "stories". This can go on for as long as an hour. And each time I think, "I should really get up and get the video camera...I....that would be....*yawn*......snnnnnooooooooorrrrreeee".
Blessings.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Why Plastic Bags Have Warnings On Them....

video

I have a unique and lovable husband.
Only he would see a broken stretchy ball and think...
"Hmmm, I wonder if I can get that thing over my entire head".

I dedicate this blog to you, my love.
*if you look closely you'll actually see his upper lip dragged up to his nose in
a bizarre snarling expression, parents are cautioned*

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Of This Of That

Our sweet little Reuben, growing more alert by the day.
We got wheels! Yay!
Sophia and her ballet friends before class.
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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Duraznito, "Little Peach"

Yes, they call him "the little peach". His fuzzy little head, incredibly soft to the touch and round and rosy as can be, invites just such a name. Here our Ecuadoran neighbors greet Reuben on his third day of life.
"Grandma" Gigi has already fallen head-over-heels for her newest "grandson". Her love for our kids is such a gift, especially as our families aren't here to celebrate with us.

Dustin and Eduardo with their Chilean sons, Reuben and Josue. Reuben will also become an American in about a month when we travel to the American embassy in Santiago.
Blessings, "little peach's" mom

Friday, November 02, 2007

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Behold, A Son!

Are we blessed or what?!? Dear friends, we are proud to present our newest little Gingrich, Reuben Scott. He was born yesterday at 10:49 in the morning weighing in at 8 lbs. 6 oz. and 20 inches long.
I awoke at 7:15 in the morning to mild crampiness which, within an hour, changed to regular strong contractions, two minutes apart! I called Dustin to make him aware that baby may be on its way sometime that day. A half hour later I was calling him up and telling him he'd better get home fast! An hour later we arrived at the clinic, where I was discovered to be 7 cm. dialated and in full-blown labor. The pain was through the roof, though, comically I couldn't scream (I've lost my voice for a week now). I got an epidural, and a half hour later I was fully dialated. After 5 minutes of pushing, he came (no stitches, yes!)!
We were so surprised that it was a boy! For some reason we both thought we'd have another girl. Reuben means "Behold, a son!", and it certainly was appropriate to what we thought at that moment!
I give praise to God for this three and a half hour labor, this fine little boy, and the wonderful team that helped him to come out safely! We have been so blessed. Thank you for praying!
With much joy,
Sarah Lenora

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Caught In The Act!!!

It's little Carolina's second birthday....and boy does Edison have a gift for her!
Oh! Mom! What? Me??? Kissing? Uhhhh....
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Friday, October 26, 2007

Braxton Hick-Ups


To My Most Amiable Readers....
The due date has come and gone, and yet my little Chilean/American baby has yet to emerge from its habitat-of-the-moment. I think he/she likes it in there....lots of stretching out with its little feet propped up on my rib cage, lots of bouts of hick-ups to enjoy, and sucking in some ABC (already been chewed) food through its nifty belly straw. Maybe I need to start eating some disagreeable stuff so that it'll get the hint and head out. har har har

In other news, Edison went flying off the swing at the park and got a whole face full of scrapes. How manly. Also manly are his new calzoncitos (underpants), and he's starting to get the hang of things in the potty department, sans poo, THAT he tends to deposit in his "man pants".

Well, that's all for now...please keep me in prayer for good health and a safe/wonderful delivery and safety for the baby : ).
Your Most Devoted,
Sarah

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Thought or Two


Even weeds can be lovely. I
transplanted these weeds from my
backyard; who could mow
these down?





Edison, caught in the act: putting on
Mommy's mascara
while bored on the potty.

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Enjoying time at Isla Tenglo. See Sheba?
She loves it there.
And finally, here's little Josue, Eduardo and Juanita's
new little one.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Yay For Spring!

Sophia picking up pretty petals on a day-trip to nearby Puerto Varas.
Sophia and Edison today at Isla Tenglo, and below at Puerto Varas beach on Sunday where we picnicked with friends. That pointy peak in the background is Osorno Volcano (fun place to ski).
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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Four Weeks and Counting

To My Most Amiable Readers,

I'm in the home stretch and boy, is it noticeable! You know things are nearing conclusion when the maternity shirts don't quite cover the protruding belly anymore. This makes me quite self-conscious when going down escalators: "Hey look everyone, my belly!"

At present Dustin is up in the Andes for four days on a mission trip. If this baby decides to show up, the only way to get a hold of him would be to call the radio station up there and have them make an announcement that hopefully he'd hear or someone would tell him about. I must admit that it's really hard for me right now when he travels for days at a time. Mostly its just physical exhaustion in my eight-months along state; I live for naptime and bedtime when I can stretch out and doze. The other part is just downright emotional...I don't have my tag-team partner to lean on when Edison has peed on the floor...again and again, or Sophia cries about picking up her toys. It's hard to be a one-parent family; I can't imagine how single parents cope!
Thankfully, this is Dustin's last trip before the baby, so I've just got to get through this week without going nuts ; ).
Your Most Devoted, Sarah

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Concepcion, Chile!

Here we go! With our club's only Filippi boat we hit the road with the rowing kids and the Hostetter family for Concepcion, a city about 8 hours north of Puerto Montt. It's the second largest city in Chile and is an industrial hub in the region. All the way up we passed thousands of acres of eucalyptus trees, quaint farms, and trucks loaded with timber. Even two hours north from home we could feel the difference in the air; much drier. We gradually saw more and more palm trees, cacti, and my favorite site: patios outside of the homes with roofs of grapevines.
Jordan and Philipe where we stopped to have a picnic. We had good times with the youth; laughing it up even when we ended up stranded roadside having run out of gas (gas gauge wasn't functioning). Below is just a taste of the preparation that goes into celebrating the Chilean Independence Day, September 18. These dresses are used during the dancing of the Cueca, the national dance which imitates the posturing of a rooster courting a hen. The woman waves a white handkerchief (usually embroidered) and alternately encourages and rejects the "gallo" (rooster). The men wear the square-shaped ponchos that you can see to the middle left or black, trim suit jackets, sashes, and black pants and flat, wide-brim straw hats; very classy! Our church family is planning a picnic to celebrate dieziocho (the 18th), Dustin and I being in charge of the games (egg toss, sack race, etc). Also traditional is flying kites, dancing, and eating lots of meat! Chileans spend more money on Dieziocho than they do on any other holiday. This year I'm determined to learn the Cueca!!! Blessings!
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Monday, September 03, 2007

All Hail Chilean Weather!

As many of you know, we're in winter here in the deep South; though a strange winter it is indeed. Some days we have sun and almost t-shirt weather. The next day we get hit with drizzly, miserable rain and wind for five days straight. Well, this day we got a good 3 minute hail shower which absolutely fascinated all of us. Edison exclaimed about all the "balls" out on the lawn while Sophia hurried to get shoes on and inspect for herself this "snow".
I know...I need to buy her a belt. Please continue to pray for our little princess, that her eye would heal. Thanks to everyone who sent her and Edison birthday cards; you have no idea how much they enjoy them!
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Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Big Four!


Ah...the week of balloons, frosting, wrapping paper, and candles has drawn to a close.
Our little Sophia turned four yesterday! She had two neighborhood girls, two ballet friends, and three little girls from church over to celebrate.
I was quite surprised at the chaos (remember I'm still rather new at this whole mother thing), but was so glad that Sophia had a great time.
I enjoyed spending time with the mothers, three of whom do not know the Lord. It was a joy to see them interact with my Christian friends and find things in common.
Sophia received many fun gifts, including her first bicycle, a toy cash register, a tiarra, and a drum. Before the little ones started in on the food, we had a prayer that God would bless it and Sophia on her special day. When we said "Amen", she piped up and said she wanted to pray too. She proceeded to do so...in Spanish! She said, "Gracias Jesus por la comida y que eso es el cumpleanos de Sophia". (Thank you Jesus for the food and that this is Sophia's birthday). Too cute.
Blessings!
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