Beards.

August 18, 2013

IMAG0653

I took C to an all-you-can-eat pizza spot for lunch one afternoon, and he completely out ate me. His eating abilities are also reflected in his growth record as of late. The kid is a giant. At nine years old, he is already about nose level to me.

So when it came time to say my goodbyes to the kiddos, and C shuffled over to give me a sheepish hug, I told him, “The next time I see you, you better be taller than me! I expect many inches to happen over this next year.”

Not to be left behind, his 6-year-old brother chimed in, “And me?”

J is a little one, yet to hit his sasquatch stride, so his father suggested that maybe J would be at my armpit by next July. He leaned back into the couch, deep in thought. Several minutes later, J asked me very seriously, “Big Lo, does your armpit have a beard?”

Then he continued, “My dad’s armpit does. He actually has two beards!”

Classic.

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Two Years.

July 25, 2013

Well, I have gained pounds and wrinkles, but nothing says two years quite like this.

DesktopI will miss these nuggets!

Prior to coming to Paraguay, I spent two years working as a Family Advocate at an emergency domestic violence shelter. As one might assume, it was an emotionally burdensome job and the hours did not help. Commanding the 12pm-9pm shift five days a week effectively eliminated any sort of social aspect from my life, and it was really quite isolating.

So as I prepared to come to Paraguay, B and I spent a lot of time praying that I would find community here. I defined community as friends. Although, babies that I did not have to produce myself and could snuggle were also considered acceptable alternatives.

Despite my haughty and specific demands, the Lord manifest His grace in ways more sweet than I ever imagined. These four dumplings have been the light and laugh of my last two years. Amidst bouts of loneliness, ministry frustration, homesickness, and every other dark force I encountered on occasion, these nuggets remained a constant source of love, adorable antics, and yes, snuggles.

I am ever so thankful for this family and these little faces.

IMAG0677Literal bosom buddies.

IMAG0659Hole-in-one.

IMAG0678Baby Forest.

IMAG0631Dancing queens.

Sleepover, Round 2.

July 25, 2013

It started in the car. I had just picked the girls up from the Schell house and we were making our way back to mine for one last sleepover before I leave Paraguay. K piped up from the backseat about a movie she had watched with her “brudders” recently. A cinematic masterpiece entitled “Monsters of the Beeran” or something to that effect.

I am, by no stretch of imagination, an expert on children’s films and cartoons, so I had absolutely no idea what they were talking about. This frustrated them, but talk they continued. L joined her sister in detailing various scenes from the movie, describing what one guy said to another on the beach and how the bad guy got his head cut off.

I asked them if it had been too scary for them because it all sounded rather violent, and K in an ever matter-of-fact tone, quipped, “It only a little bit scawee. You just have to be brave, Big [Lo].” Wise words from a four-year-old.

Then we passed a billboard with a prominent picture of Johnny Depp, and the girls squealed in excitement, “Monsters of the Beeran!”

If ever I had an epiphany moment, that was it. As it turns out, Monsters of the Beeran translates to none other than Pirates of the Caribbean. I mean, duh.

July 035July 033July 038July 037July 040July 028July 029Growing up so fast.