Friday, May 29, 2015

Bolivian Style Day For Mothers

Not the best picture, but it was all I got of D. and B.
and the "other" Tia Carla!!
And just when you thought you had seen it all, Bolivia surprises you again. Tuesday night I was invited to be Anita's "mother" for Mother's Day. Each class had its own food for the mother's of the children in that class. I was told that it started at 6 p.m... Well, I have been in Bolivia long enough to know that it would not actually start at 6, so I decided to leave my house at 6 to walk down to the school, which is only half a block from my house. Paula really wanted to go with me, so the two of us walked down to the school in a small shower of sprinkling rain. We actually met up with Danyelle, who was also a "mother" for the night!

When we got to the school there was no food in sight. Although, D. and B.'s class got served by 6:45! Lucky fellows!

I told Rudi that the one word to describe the evening would be CHAOS. The whole event was so wild and out of control. The whole experience was actually pretty outside my comfort zone again! We did end up being served dinner at 7:45! The majority of the mothers came around 7:30... (Note to self: go at least an hour later than the hour stated!)

Most of the older Casa de Amor kids with "their mother"!
I did not get a picture of Hannah with her "daughter" S., because their classroom had a program going on in front of the door, when I went around taking pictures!!
Danyelle with her "daughter"

Myself with my real daughter Paula!
Some of us "early birds" came in and got seated at the tables around 7. There were the usual speeches and then one of the children shared a super sweet poem about her mother!
Sharing a Mother's Day poem!
Please notice the white board behind says, Happy Mother's Day or
Feliz Dia de la Mamá!

The very crowded room. It was almost wall to wall by the
time everyone had arrived!

Paula and me with Anita!
The food arrived finally around 7:40. I thought you might like to see how catering is done in Bolivia. Big huge kettles of food, that are then served in plastic trays. No silverware was to be had! Each family got one tray of food. It was plenty and delicious!
Bolivian Catering Services!

Getting it all served up!
And the food!
They served us large pieces of pork. It was seasoned like what they call "Lechon" here. However, the cuts of meat were not like Lechon, so I am not sure what it was, but it was yummy. We were also served potatoes and a smaller potato, that is technically not a potato, but sweet and oblong shaped, one of my favorites! We also had corn on the cob (Bolivian style called Choclo), and a salad of cooked carrots with onions. Super delicious food! We all had to wash our hands afterwards, because they were covered with grease!!
No event is complete without a dog or two or five....
After dinner everyone went to the gymnasium where the special dances were to be held.
Our very own D. and B. from House 2 were going to be in one of the dances. I got a picture of them in their costumes before they went into the gymnasium.
D. and B. ready for the dance!
When the gymnasium was completely full,  I really could not believe how full it got, it was time for the dances. Unfortunately, the power in the gym kept going out. Darkness and screams happened for a long time and then Paula and I went home! Truly, my curfew was at 8:30 and time was up! Also, my patience had done run out for the evening. I was sad to miss the dances, but sometimes enough is enough!!
"Congratulations, Dear Mothers"

The girls are in orange and the boys in blue! Super bright and colorful!
Another adorable dancer!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Busy Saturday

Yesterday started at 2 a.m. for my cinnamon roll making husband, Rudi! Yep, you read that correct TWO in the morning! It was the beginning of a very busy day for all of us. Rudi made over 100 cinnamon rolls to be sold at the Saturday market off of Avenida America. The locals here will know which market I am talking about! 
We had decided the night before that I would go with him, along with Myles, Clancy, Clara, and our guest for two weeks, Joseph Lawrence. Emily would stay home with Ruth and Paula. We loaded up our truffi with all of our stuff and headed out to the market around 6:45ish.

Rudi putting icing on his amazing creations!!

Cinnamon Rolls Riding in Style in our Truffi!!
 It was fun to see behind the scenes of this market early in the morning. Watching it come alive and get ready for the day! This market has its share of beggars and crippled people. The man in the wheel chair got our last cinnamon roll of the day (free, of course)!!
The Saturday market getting set up.
 We don't have an official spot yet, but they put us where we were last week. This is the second week Rudi has been doing this. Not sure yet if it will be an every week thing or not. We are kinda just feeling it out for now! Our spot is quite small and skinny, but it works. If we stay at this we need some type umbrella or cover for shade. We traded a cinnamon roll with the guy next to us, so we could share his shade canopy!

After we got everything set up, we left Rudi to man the booth and went down the street to the SIM Annual yard sale. We ended up being down at the sale during the "rush" time...oops, sorry about that! I did find shoes for all three of the children we are adopting though, so it was worth it!!

We ended up selling out around 11 a.m.!! Thank you to our "extranjero" friends for stopping by and saying hi and supporting us! We think we sold somewhere around 80 cinnamon rolls, because we sampled out quite a lot. Not the best income for eight hours of work, but it could build with time! We are selling the cinnamon rolls for 6 b.s (.85 cents) each. A little less than the $3 we get for them at our coffee shop at home!
Joseph helping get stuff set up!
We hurried home for lunch and a short break. After lunch Rudi took the three youngest girls to House 3 for a birthday party for Belinda, one of the girls friends at CDA. After the party he went and picked up Hannah and four of the older children from the baby home. Then he picked up all the rest of us at the house, to go to the Saturday Horita Feliz.

While he was gone, I scurried around doing some general clean up and also making a stew that could sit on the stove and cook while we were gone to the Horita Heliz and then to a piano recital after that...whew... I told you it was a busy Saturday!!

As you all know from previous blogs Saturday is our big Horita Feliz day. This particular Saturday we celebrated the upcoming Mother's Day here in Bolivia. There were at least sixty mothers present for the special time that Gladys and the H. F. Team had prepared for them.

The extra big crowd, singing with the power point!
 Our girls, Clara and Ruth, along with their friends, Gracie and Clara, said Psalm 23 together for the mothers.
Saying Psalm 23 together...
 Then it was our turn to sing Psalm 23! Hmm, I am picking up on a theme here! This wasn't the theme really, but it was interesting how we first heard Psalm 23 quoted and then everyone heard it sung! This song is sung a cappella and was composed by a friend of ours, Thomas Gray. He taught us the first part about two months ago. We taught ourselves the second part and it is still a bit rough, but it is coming along. I love singing this with Rudi and our two older children. It is so much fun to sing in four part harmonies together. We still have to learn the third part, but I know we'll get to it soon! Everyone seemed to enjoy the song... Thankfully, they are a very forgiving crowd!
"Jehova es mi Pastor"
 A very special blessing was having Miriam Trott share the message with the ladies. She spoke from Exodus 1:21 about fearing the Lord and making time for Him. She brought out that when we do this He will bless our families and lives. It was a really rich time. She is a down to earth person who can relate to the ladies really well. She is from Argentina and a doctor. She and her husband, who is North American, have two sons and are missionaries here in Cochabamba!
Miriam sharing from Exodus 1:21.

~~~The following pictures are of the group that made a wall hanging, from Miriam's key verse in Exodus 1, to be given to the ladies. We got together and made them them the week before on a Sunday afternoon. We had a great time making them and I think they turned out really nice. There were four different styles, all designed by Emily. We glued the verse to some heavier colored paper and then put on a ribbon for them to hang from. R. Emily, Anita, Gladys, Carla, Clara, and Danyelle
Sunday May 17, 2015 
Emily, Anita, and Gladys having fun together!

Danyelle, our master ribbon cutter!
After the message, the verses and a gift were handed out to each mother. We also served them sandwiches, candy, and a special juice!
The mothers receiving their gifts!

Look who I found peeping in the window... our little S.
And just when it seemed our Saturday couldn't get any fuller, it did! It was piano recital time! We left the Horita Feliz around 6 p.m. and on our way to the recital dropped off Hannah and the littles at the baby home. We arrived "Bolivian late" and the recital was already under way. I will interject that our five oldest children have just started taking piano lessons from a lovely lady and talented musician named, Rachel Vasquez. Although, our Saturday was already chock full of events, we didn't want our kids to miss out on being at this recital. They didn't play this time, but we wanted them to see what it might be like for next time. It was a real treat to hear Rachel play with an amazing cellist at the end of the evening. It was really, really good music. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the stage backdrop. A little hard on the eyes, but very artsy!!

Two very talented musicians!
 We got home after 8 and had a very well cooked stew and some left over Arroz con Leche! It sure did taste good. And that wraps up our very busy Saturday. I think the busiest ever. Action packed and lots of fun!

Friday, May 22, 2015


Our kitty, "Frisky"!

Look at who has adopted us!! We found this little kitten inside our fence one day. We have no idea where it came from, but it sure seems to like us. Myles wasn't too happy about it leaving cat hair in his hat, but it is so cute cuddled up in it!! The girls have named it "Frisky" and it seems to be living up to its name! Yep, I think this one is here to stay!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Morning At The Park

With the adoption process dragging on, we really get to missing our babies. One day Ruth, Paula, and I grabbed a truffi down to the baby house to see S. and A. The tias were just getting ready to head to the park with the older children, so we went along with them. It was a great way to spend the morning!!
The cutest group on the way to the park...
Paula taking charge of her little bro and sis!

S. and Paula on the Teeter Totter
A. loving the swing!

Snack time for everyone!

Monday, May 18, 2015

My Parents Visit Bolivia- 2015- Final Part

Our last days with Daddy and Mama literally flew by. It seemed that we were running around like crazy trying to fit everything in. We still left a few people and things to see for next time;), right Daddy?
Saturday we took my parents to the Saturday market on America. This mercado caters more to foreigners and you are sure to see other Americans and LOTS of Brazilians! We picked up S. and A. from the baby home to go with us. It was fun to have them with us for the morning through lunch time. Mama was able to get a few fun touristy items also! 

Clara and the Grandparents at the Saturday market!!

Plants for all!
While we gone to the Lago one of our two parakeets died. Unfortunately, Hannah and one of the kids from the baby home found it dead in its cage one morning. She gave it a proper burial for us! We had purchased our original birds at the Saturday market, so we returned to purchase a friend for the one that had died. Our super chattery, to the point of being annoying bird was silent after his friend left him...:( He is back to his chattery self now!!
Myles and Clara picking out a new bird!

Happy Saturday Market Shoppers
After market we had lunch at Pollos America... Yumm!
Mama took some super cute pictures of our adorable A. at lunch. 

Adorable A.
A special treat for our four middle children, Myles through Ruth, was going to tea with Grandpa and Grams during the time we usually are at Horita Feliz. I know it was the highlight of their whole visit for many of my children! Rudi, Emily, Paula, and I did our usual pick up of Hannah and some of the older children at CDA House 1, and taught our classes at Horita Feliz. We were a bit sad to miss out on such a fun time with Daddy and Mama, but we had to be responsible!!
Tea Anyone? and Dinner? and Dessert?
I heard in detail how yummy the food, tea, and dessert selections were. Everyone came home super happy and refreshed!
The whole crew out for tea. 
Sunday morning dawned beautiful and promised to be another busy day. Rudi, Myles, and Clara picked up S. and A. at the baby home and then drove to a church we go to sometimes, named "Florida." It is actually quite close by, so the rest of us walked over and joined them about an hour later. That extra hour allowed me time to cut Daddy's hair. I had been wanting to get my hands on it ever since he had arrived and had hinted a couple times about it. I was actually pretty surprised when Daddy came down and asked if I had time to cut his hair before church. He is very picky about who cuts his hair, so I cut it with a bit of trepidation! I think it turned out really nice. I was a little intimidated by his "wave" in the front and erred on the side of less off, than more! His hair was easy to cut and laid so nicely when it was done. It was a huge honor to have been able to cut his hair... He offered to fly me up once a month to cut it in Oregon, but I think that might be a bit much!!!:)
Enjoying the moment, cutting Daddy's hair.

"And now for a little more off this side"
Before my parents ever came down to Bolivia they had an invite from some friends of ours, the Grays, to come over for lunch! The Gray family goes to the Florida church, so we piled everyone in our car after church to go to lunch at Mrs. Gray's sister's house. I think we had only16 in the old truffi! The night before we had been talking about how we needed to go to a restaurant that served Pique Macho, a native Bolivian dish that we wanted Mama and Daddy to try. Well guess what the Gray family served us? Yep, Pique Macho!
We had a great time talking and laughing with them. Tom Gray, the dad is American and Sonya, his wife is Bolivian. Three of their four children were there. Since some of the folks only spoke English and some only spoke Spanish there was a real mix of Spanish and English, with English ruling the day! I was able to translate conversations between Mama, Sonya, and her two lovely sisters. It was a lot fun.
Mama and Daddy and their Pique Machos!!
(Please notice Daddy's great haircut) 
We asked permission to take S. and A. with us for the day again on Sunday. We had such a good time having them along. All of our kids enjoyed watching "tele" in the afternoon. A rare treat! S. really knew how to kick back and watch.
S. chilled watching tele!!

We stayed so long visiting that we had tea and humintas, along with empanadas before we headed home! We went home stuffed with good food and good memories!

All of us crowded around the table!
  The last days that they were here were spent doing a lot of shopping and running around town getting all those last tourist type things we had put off buying or hadn't had time to. The highlight of Monday was going out to dinner together at La Estancia. We all enjoyed the delicious salad bar and various cuts of beef and yummy fish!! Each of our kids went back at least once for the amazing avocado. I think that was our dessert. Thank you, Daddy for treating us!
The family eating out at La Estancia.

(It does seem that a lot of pictures were taken at tables. I need to be more creative with my photos. I promise we didn't eat ALL the time!)

   On Tuesday our first stop was at Mario and Helen's. Helen knows a lady that was saved through her prison ministry that makes really nice tourist items. We had met this lady once before after the ladies' meeting at the church, but Mother wanted to get some more things from her. She left a large bag of things for us to look through and purchase from. After we had made our purchases, Helen invited us for a "wee tea"! It was a small one because only half the table was filled with goodies instead of the WHOLE table!! It was great for my parents to be able to have a bit more time with them.

A wee tea with Mario and Helen!

Two of our favorite couples,
Burnell and Paula & Helen and Mario
We also went by a place where they make all kinds of clothing, blankets, etc out of alpaca. It is all made here in Bolivia and their stuff is just beautiful. Mama bought Rudi and me a blanket for our 20th wedding anniversary that is coming up this year. She also got herself a lovely throw. The reason we found this place is because the hotel Aranjuez where my parents stayed this time for one night, had  a blanket from this company on the foot of the bed. Mother had liked it so much, that she wanted to take one home with her! The name of the company is Fotrama. It was a little bit challenging to find, but worth it!

I know I wouldn't be hired to take pictures for catalogs or anything, but I wanted you to the beautiful blanket Mama bought us. It is SUPER soft and cozy too! If you visit us in Bolivia we can take you by this shop to buy one...
Our beautiful blanket!

For lunch we ate at Paprika's, one of our favorite restaurants in the city!
Rudi, with Daddy and Mama eating lunch at Paprika's.
After lunch we searched for another company that sells bags and accessories, also all made in Bolivia. We hit the higher end tourist goods this time!! After asking for directions from three different people we finally landed on, Tote Le Monde. Mama quickly found several things she couldn't live without!

Stuff from Tote le Monde and our amazing blanket again!

Okay, so this is the danger of not finishing a blog when your mind is fresh. I forget which night we spent working on "Country Cousins" and writing letters for friends back home, but it was either Tuesday or Wednesday evening. Either way it happened and we sent a record amount of mail home for friends and family. We are doing a lot more of sending mail home with people headed to the States, as the mail service cost has really gone up here and is not very dependable.

The "Country Cousins" Crew!
The finished product!

Everyone in on the action!

Since Emily didn't get to go to tea on Saturday with the others, Grampa and Grams took her on Wednesday afternoon! Once again everyone had a great time! Mama ended up going to this tea place three times during her visit and Daddy twice. It was a real hit!
Grams modeling the sign to the tea house!

A lovely setting for tea!
After dinner Wednesday night, we played a game called "the hot seat." Each person took a turn sitting in the "hot seat" and was asked questions by everyone else. It was really a fun game.
Grandpa's turn!

The kids looking on!
And then it was all to soon, but it was time to head to the airport for the last flight out of Cochabamba for the night.  We squeezed in every moment we could before saying goodbye. I have learned that I do not like saying goodbye. I much prefer hellos! Now we just have hellos to look forward to again!!

At the airport saying goodbye!

All of the kids with Grandpa and Grams!
We are so thankful for the special three weeks we spent with our beloved parents and grandparents. What a blessing that they took the time and effort to come to practically the ends of the earth to visit us! We feel loved and super supported in our time here... We hope that soon we will be able to visit them with three more precious little ones in tow!!!