Saturday, March 30, 2013

Diaper Drive!!

In the Fall of last year, I, along with a volunteer from Denmark, Camilla, got the idea to surprise the Tias here with new cloth diapers. With anywhere from 11-20 babies in diapers at any given time, it is a FULL time job keeping the babies and the diapers clean and ready. Anyone who has worked in Casa 1 knows that what they work with for diapers is difficult at best and hair raising at worst!
It Happens to the Best of Us!

 Let's face it with babies... you know what happens... A LOT! We put the word out that we were doing a "Diaper Drive" to raise money for cloth diapers for Casa de Amor and we had a HUGE outpouring of support! I wanted to use this blog to thank the many who gave to our cause. This was not a tax-deductable donation, so everyone gave out of the goodness of their hearts and many gave sacrificially. THANK YOU to all of you. Below is an attempt to list everyone who gave. If your name is not here and you gave, please e-mail me and I will add your name to the blog!

Paul and Kamerin Williams/ OR   Anonymous :)/CA        
Derrick and Naomi Clark/ OR       Tracy Cahill & Family/ OH
Burnell and Paula Johnson/OR     Anne & Danyelle Graves/TX
Margaret Ruth Dysart/CA              Dennis & Rachel Knee/KS
Eliot and Sherry Kirk/CA              Heather Cole & Jeremy Knee/TX
Clayton and Kim Gruenstein/MI   Aaron & Laura Ault & Family/IN
Bruce and Nikki Tibbett/CA          Hearts of Hope for Honduras
Savannah Sielbeck/TN                  Iris de Kievet/ Holland                
Paul and Valerie Van Zyl/ID        Camilla's Friends and Family in Denmark
Andrew Zoller                              Michael and Dolores Booher/OR
Leroy and Carol Hopkins/OR     Linda and Friends from Yoncalla/OR
Tim and Diane Nydam/OR         Carol Wood/OR
 Marc Lapointe and Sweetwater Community Church/CA                   

"Thank You, We Love Our New Diapers"

Because of your generous gifts we were able to purchase 300 super-absorbent bleached cotton flat diapers, to put inside the 120 Econobum covers we were also able to purchase. I spent many hours reading reviews and studying which type of diaper would be best for a country where there is no hot water to wash the diapers in and where they also use a lot of bleach to wash the diapers. Also, a diaper that would hold up to thousands of uses and washings. Another thing I considered was the fact that the Tias were not likely to appreciate something a lot different from what they were already used to. We were able to purchase a TON (almost) of diapers that are similar to what they were already using, but way BETTER.

Denise Hershberger came on board and not only raised a significant amount of money for this cause, she also took over the purchasing of the diapers and found us some amazing deals. The people she bought from gave us the diapers and covers at cost. I want to thank them here also and encourage you to purchase your own cloth diapers from them if you happen to need some! John and Jen Lamp own They helped us purchase Osocozy Flats. Connie owns and she helped us with purchasing the EconoBum covers. Thank you so much for making our diaper drive a HUGE success!

Denise also washed and dried ALL 300 diapers to "break them in" and get them ready for us to use down here. She also took care of shipping them to the various people who were coming down to visit or work with the orphanage and could bring them with them. It was a huge project and I would have been lost without her AMAZING help. She also made 17 flannel baby wipes. I very begrudgingly gave them to the orphanage as they will need them more than I will, but they were very cool! Thank you, Denise, for your labor of love on behalf of the babies at Casa 1!
Getting the diapers from the U.S. to Bolivia has been a job in itself. Three different parties have brought or are bringing the diapers down for us. The people who helped us with this are: Savannah Sielbeck, Marc LaPointe and Sweetwater Community Church, and my parents, Burnell and Paula Johnson who are coming in April with all the rest of the "mountain" of diapers.
The Tia's were very surprised and thankful for the new diapers. All in all they are going to be set for a long time!!! Thank you one and all for your support!!!
"Aren't we cute in our new diapers?"

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Christo Ama Cada Uno

 This little tune is one of our favorites. We sing it every day at Bible time and one of the little girls is pretty much always singing it!
 I recorded it on Garageband (an amateur recording program available for Apple computers, iPads, etc.) just for fun one evening with Paula, and it turned out to be such a hit with my grandparents and cousins that I decided that I would post it in the blog. I re-did it on my legit recording program with Clara and Ruth singing it in English. That way y'all can sing it and know what you are singing!
  While I was recording Paula I had some trouble with her singing loud enough so I showed her the results on the iPad. ( If you look on the song post above, you can see by the static where the song got loud and where it got quiet. When I am recording this is how it shows up.) I told her that I wanted her to make those lines BIG! I got her on the mic again and I was shocked at how much better she did! She really sang it out!
 I know you all will enjoy it and I am pretty sure that the children who hear it will be singing it around the house 24/7!
PS. I now know how you felt Uncle Chris,when you were trying to record me singing For God So Loved The World, and I kept saying, wonderful his love like me! Ha ha!
Here is the original song that I did on garage band.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Our QuinceaƱera

Modeling her favorite peanut bars! Clara's gift!
Our firstborn, Emily Jo, turned 15 this month. In Latin American culture turning 15 is a very big deal. Many spend their life fortune and have a party similar in size and pomp to a wedding. We asked Emily if she wanted a Latin American 15 year old birthday party, but she took one look at the dress she would have to wear and said "NO"! Those of you who know her I'm sure are not surprised. Instead we had a day long birthday bash... We started the morning in a traditional Booher fashion and had (some) gifts at a special breakfast! Tia Techy had breakfast with us in honor of Emily's birthday and brought her the first of her favorite gifts of the day... (you'll see what I mean later on!)
Opening Tia Techy's gift!
SIDE NOTE/STORY: Tia Techy left our house the afternoon before Emily's birthday and went into town to La Concha to search for a gift that she knew Emily wanted. About three hours later and after dark, Tia's sister called our house looking for her, about fifteen minutes later he husband called. While he was talking with Emily his cell phone died. We did not have his number to call him back, but we knew that he was worried about Tia and was looking for her also. Well those of you who know ME know that I was already planning a funeral... I know my family is laughing about this... I was worried sick. I figured that she had gone into town to find a gift for Emily and I felt horrible that she had gotten kidnapped or worse, all because of Emily's birthday. I figured that Javier had run out of credit and would not call us back and we did not have number to reach them. Tia always forgets, loses, or doesn't have her phone charged, so of course, she was unreachable, which is what had us all worried in the first place! At about 9 p.m. I told Rudi that he had to go out to Tia's house and make sure that she was home or I would not be able to sleep... (I know that my family is laughing at this too!) He took Emily with him to show him the way, as she had been to Tia's house twice before. When they got there a very apologetic Tia met him at the door. She was very sorry that she had worried us all so much. (I guess her mother-in-law was in tears about it! A kindred spirit!) She had gotten late shopping for Emily and going by her mothers house on the way home. He husband also was more than a little peeved that she had not taken the time to call... Tia is learning to be a better communicator... She has been more quick to call if she is late since then!!!! I was just super happy that she was okay!

Okay back to the party...
Here is the infamous gift that Tia was shopping for: A Cochabamba Futbol Team Shirt!
Another tradition in Bolivia is to "egg and flour" someone on their birthday. Clancy did the honors with the egg and Myles did the flour. They were supposed to wait and let us all gang up on her, but jumped the gun on us. Emily would not stand still long enough for a proper photo of the blessed event!!!
And for lunch we all went to our favorite pizza place, Cozzolisi!
Waiting for the amazing pizza
Vico and Elena, Volunteers Kaley, Anna, and Carlee joined us and gave Emily her second favorite gift of the day: A Cochabamba Futbol Team shirt!!! Great minds think alike and all that! It was super sweet of them to all go in on a gift for Emily! It also made our party special to have them all there to celebrate with us!
Emily, in her second team shirt of the day. The first was egged and floured!
After pizza we walked down to Frozz to enjoy some delicious birthday ice cream! From R. in the picture above, Carlee, Kaley, Paula(back) Emily, Ruth, Anna, and Elena!
Baby Snooze Time! Abby and L.
A. and K. enjoying the party!
We opted to take all of our "casa kids" instead of dropping off the babies at House 1. L. has been sporting an eye infection for awhile now and we didn't want to share that around. They did great napping in their new strollers we had gotten them from La Concha!
"Aren't these shoes sweet"
After pizza and ice cream we worked it all (or some) off by going bowling! I loved the shoes they loaned Rudi! Finding shoes that fit his size 14 here in Bolivia has proven to be a bit of a treasure hunt.
We had lots of fun. It was Tia's first time bowling and she did great. And as it should be, Emily racked up the highest score of the day!!!
Myles securing the strollers for the ride home.
We all crammed back into the Happy Mobile for the ride home. (Vico, Elena, and Kaley went home before the rest of us went bowling.)
One side full!

Other side full!
Clancy, Paula, Ali, and I rode in the front with Rudi. It was cozy for sure! Another thing was that the latch that secures the back tire to the door, and thus making it so that the back doors do not spring open, broke right before departure. Anna who was closest to the door on that side was a little nervous. At one point Rudi stopped because the door was coming open and secured it with Myles' shoelace! It helped a little and when Anna would look worried I would assure her not to worry that the shoelace would keep the door shut... Maybe? We did arrive home all safely and the door is currently being repaired at the mechanics!
Emily with some more of her gifts!
Emily with 15 Candles on the Cake!
In the evening Jake, Jen, and Anna joined us for Enchiladas and Cake! We also had more gifts for Emily and Jake and Jen brought her another t-shirt that says "I love Cochabamba"! The paper flowers on the cake above were made for Emily by Myles and Clancy.
You can run......
Of course, Emily knew what was coming next...the "take a first bite" then "cake smash"! She tried to get away, but Jake caught up with her and gave her the traditional face plant!

But you can't hide....
At least she let me take a proper picture this time! It was a great day even if it didn't measure up to Latin American standards! Emily is growing into a sweet young lady and we are proud of her many accomplishments so far: Follower of Jesus, awesome musician, great friend, incredible big sister, accomplished diaper changer and bottle feeder, Spanish speaker, responsible overseer of the children, great baker, Ultimate frisbee player, barista, laundry master, and much more! We are excited to see what the next 15 years will be like, hopefully they do not go by as fast as this first 15. Something tells me that they will go by even FASTER! We love you, Emily!
"Ukelele Jo"

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Twins 3rd Birthday Party

  We had a grand fiesta at the end of February to celebrate the twins third birthday! I think you will enjoy the following pictures. Kaley let me borrow her awesome camera and I had a great time taking pictures! Thanks, Kaley!
A. and K. Ready for action!

Beautiful A.
Beautiful K.
 And, of course, Paula wanted her picture taken also!
Beautiful P.
Happy with Tio Rudi

Look at those eyes!
A few of our illustrious guests
 We ate a delicious dinner first: Lasagna, Homemade French Bread, Coleslaw, and Fruit Salad!  Our guests included Jake and Jen, all of the children from Casa 2 & 3, Richard and Gladys Scoggins with their daughter Gracie, T.J. and Tami Mitchell with their daughter Madison, Javier and Techy with their children Michial and Annabelle, Volunteers Kaley LaPointe, Carlee Van Zyl, and Anna Magee, as well as Tia's Sarin and Karen.
And a few more guests!

Tia Techy with her Husband and two children!(Behind K.)
 I think that Savannah should be happy with the above picture, because Tia Techy is smiling... almost!
Sorry, you can't see the faces of her husband or children... I promise they are quite nice looking!
Rudi, Jennifer, Richard, and Gladys

Volunteers Kaley, Carlee, and Anna
 We have an awesome group of volunteers right now. They helped me out with the babies the whole time, so I didn't have to worry about them! Kaley is from So. Cal, Carlee is from Idaho, and Anna is
from So. Cal as well. They are a hardworking fun group of gals.
Rudi, Myles, and Emily provided some after dinner music!
Waiting for the cake!

 After they blew out the candle twice, once for each twin, Tia Sarin wanted them to "take a bite". Remember that custom from the blog about Rudi's birthday? Well, A. performed perfectly, but K. was not happy at all with the idea. The pictures below show a blow by blow of the event as it happened. I think that their faces are too cute in these. They show their individual personalities quite well!
"Take a bite girls!"

Good Job A.!

K. says "No way"!

Well, how about a pretend bite!
The kids had fun taking turns with Tio Rudi's violin!
 Toward the end of the evening Jen informed me that she and Jake had an announcement to make! I promised not to steal their thunder, so you will have to check out Casa de Amor's blog and/or their Facebook page later in the month to find out the rest of the story!
The Reaction to "The Announcement"!
  Then it was gift time. As you can see they did not lack for gifts! The girls have had a great time over these past few days playing with all of them!
 T.J. and Tami Mitchell had these girls from the time they were 11 months until last November when they came to live with us. It is because of all of the love and attention they were given by them that they are the sweet little girls they are now. We were thankful that T.J. and Tami were able to come and help us celebrate the girls birthday! I thought that this picture of Tami with K. turned out great!
Tia Tami with K.
 Please pray with us that God would send just the right set of parents to adopt these precious girls. Please pray that their paperwork would be finished right away and that the judges would approve their adoption quickly. We will be sad to see them go, but very happy for them to be in a "forever family".
Happy Birthday A. and K. We love you!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Introducing "Abby"...

A Face Anyone Could Love!

Last evening a most precious little girl came to live with us, making our "Casa Kids" number four! She is already stealing our hearts with her easy going, happy ways! "Abby" (Not her real name, but we already have an initial A. with one of the twins!) was found in a trash can with her umbilical cord still attached and covered with signs of being just recently born. Her birthday is toward the end of April, 2012 and is the same day as my parents anniversary and our Aunt Diane's birthday as well! It is hard to believe that a person could throw a baby away, but it happens, Abby is living proof. Praise the Lord that HE saw her and delivered her into safety before it was too late.

Chillin' with Emily!

 Abby has spent the first ten months of her life in the hospital. She has had numerous respiratory infections throughout her life that have kept her from coming any earlier to Casa de Amor. We hope to build up her immune system with good nutrition, lots of love, and attention! Because she has spent most of her life in a hospital crib, just one of the many children there, she is slightly behind with her development. She cannot sit up or crawl yet, but is very close to sitting up! She LOVES to eat and is good sleeper so far; who could ask for anything more? With each baby our love just grows and it really is getting to be addicting seeing who does God have for us to care for next! We are thankful to Jennifer and Casa de Amor for giving us this opportunity to serve here in Bolivia. 

"Elegant Abby" (She sleeps under a mosquito net now!)
Thanks for stopping in and meeting our latest member of the family! I'm sure that you will see lots more of her in the future!