Friday, September 30, 2016

Celebrating Paula's Birthday

 We are always happy to celebrate Paula's birthday in September, this year was no exception! All of the pictures were taken in our new house in Camiri. Since I haven't given you a tour of the house yet, I will include a few comments about our house, as well as a commentary about Paula's birthday!
Ruth and Paula on Paula's "7th"
You can see our school/game table behind the girls. It is piled with laundry and it also
looks like it has a "house" built off the side of it!

 Paula opened her gifts after breakfast in the living room. We have gone up to Santa Cruz twice (4 hours one way) to get furniture for our new house. Little by little we have been able to get almost everything we need. We still lack curtains in the living room and some other furniture, but at least we aren't sitting on the floor like we were the first week or two!
Everyone ready for Paula to open gifts.
This picture was taken of the living room w/ our spiffy new living room furniture!

100 b.s from Ruth!
The big gift this year was Clara giving Paula her American Girl, Samantha doll. Paula was so happy to have her own American Doll!
Paula with her new American Doll!

Taking her for a walk in her new stroller. Peter wishes the stroller was his!
You can just barely see our music area and the main bathroom behind Paula in this picture, taken from
the living room. 

Playmobil brought from home as a surprise!
During the day on Paula's birthday, Emily painted this phrase on the wall in our music room. It was her first time doing something like this and it turned out great!
Emily starting to paint her first "wall phrase".

And the finished product!
"Make a joyful noise..." or a literal translation. "Sing cheerfully to God"
For dinner we had some friends over to help celebrate. We also found out that Paula shares a birthday with Mark Mattix. He and Carol were some of the friends that came for dinner, along with Efrain and Jeaneth with their daughters, Misiel and Abbi.

Decorations courtesy of Clara and Ruth and hung by toilet paper!!

This is a (dark) picture of our dining room with our guests at the table. Rudi found this table on his way moving down
from Cochabamba. It is made of jungle hard wood and it is HEAVY; I will show you what it looks like in another blog.
It is really cool!!

Clara made a special Candyland Cake for Paula's birthday. It turned out really cute.
You can also see our kitchen in the picture below.

Getting ready to sing "Happy Birthday" to Paula!

Special sign made by Clara. Clothesline outside the window!!

The birthday boy, Mark, with his sidekick Peter!

A couple of our adorable birthday party guests!
Adriana and David 

Paula with her Candyland Cake and Seven Candles!
Happy Birthday. We love you, Paula!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Saying Goodbye and Bolivia Bound

It is hard to believe how fast the time went by while we were in the States. We were there about six and a half months and it felt really short! Our time was full of highs and lows, just like life anywhere on the planet. It was really good to go home and spend time with family and friends. It was also really good to spend time getting our coffee shop maintained and some new employees hired and trained. While we were home we moved twice and travelled A LOT. It feels really good to be getting settled in Bolivia again, but that is yet another blog! 

Needless to say it was a busy last three days getting our house packed for storage and 22 suitcases packed for Bolivia. My parents surprised us and came over for one full day and super blessed us by helping us pack, clean, and organize. It was bittersweet to say goodbye at the end of that long, tiring day, not knowing when we would see each other again. We are so thankful to them for making the long drive over to help us (almost 4 hours one way) and for all of their love and support! Daddy and Mama, you guys are the BEST! When can we expect to see you in Bolivia again?

Grandpa and Grams with some of the kids about to leave for
home, after working hard all day!
We decided that moving out of our house and driving up to Portland would be too much for one day, so we moved out Wednesday and Uncle Tim and Aunt Diane graciously allowed us to stay at their house for the night. That same day our friends, Greg and Elaine Dealy, had driven down to pick up our younger children to take them to their house to babysit them, so we could finish things up without kiddos underfoot. We swung by their house on the way to U. Tim and A. Diane's, to pick up the children and say goodbye to them also. They super blessed us with so many meals and free babysitting at the drop of a hat! I must say that Elaine's song that she made up in my honor, at least I think it was my life that inspired her, "I Am A Rubber Band For Jesus," still makes me chuckle to think of it! I will have to post the lyrics sometime! 
Enjoying an amazing breakfast at U.Tim and A. Diane's House

Our adopted kiddos love to visit Uncle Tim and Aunt Diane, as much as we all do. Aunt Diane always treats them like they are the most special things in the world. They love to eat at the table just their size!
Peter and Adriana loving it at Aunt Diane's
 Rudi's parents came up and joined us at U. Tim and A. Diane's for breakfast. It was sweet to be able to say goodbye to them as well! I must say I am not overly fond of goodbyes. It seems like we have had way to many in the past few years. We are so thankful to have such lovely people to say goodbye to though! Thank you so much, Uncle Tim and Aunt Diane for your amazing hospitality. We love you.
Three generations of Booher men
L. to R. Dad, Myles, Rudi, and Clancy

Grandma B. brought her amazing apple pie, as a belated
dessert for Myles' birthday. Not sure if Peter likes it or not!!
Thursday we headed North for Portland making many shopping stops along the way. Our last stop for the night was the Mike and Bonnie Mauck's house in Portland.
Sisters enjoying Paula's new umbrella!
Let me tell you, Mike and Bonnie's house is more than kid friendly, it is a kid's paradise. From the giant swings in the backyard, to the huge collection of dress-up clothes, and super fun toys, our children were so sad to have to go to bed at 11 and Ruth and Paula were up at 6, just so they could play some more... All who know the Maucks know how hospitable they are, but for those of you who do not know them, if you were to imagine the most hospitable place you ever stayed and then doubled or tripled it, that would be about right. We all had a bed to sleep in, a delicious dinner, an amazing breakfast, and a huge sack lunch for us to take with us to the airport. They also drove us in our van and dropped us off at the airport. Thank you so much, Mike and Bonnie. You have the gift of hospitality and you are using the gifts God has given you!
Paula in some of the dress up
clothes at the Mauck's house!
Gotta love that wig and the glasses!
Our first flight had us heading to Dallas, Texas where we were to get a connecting flight on to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. From Ft. Lauderdale we had a shuttle lined up to take us to Miami. Well, because of the horrible weather over Dallas, we were diverted to land in Austin, Texas along with 13 other flights! Emily did a super great blog about this, so pop over to her blog and read about it by clicking here! It will tell you that what awaited us in Austin was a family reunion for the night with Chris and Lisa and their family that only God could have orchestrated! We are still shaking our heads in amazement over what he did for us! What an amazing God we serve!! In the only group picture that we took some of us stood on biting red ants, hence the funny picture below.~
Short, but sweet visit with Chris and Lisa and Family and
short, but funny photo on the red ant hill!!!
A day later, and a pocketbook lighter:), but hearts fuller! than planned, we finally made it to Miami for the "international" portion of our flights! We took our folding wagon with us to have between flights. It was super nice to have for our "littles" and carry-ons!
Miami Airport early Sunday a.m.

My beautiful family traveling back to Bolivia
Miami Airport

Nap time in the Panama Airport

The folding wagon came in handy as a crib as well!
We arrived Sunday night in Santa Cruz and all 22 "bags" (We actually had two coolers, a box that weighed 90 lbs, a Yamaha piano, and eighteen 50 lb suitcases) made it through customs. They were a bit dubious about some of the machines we brought down for the coffee shop (including two espresso machines, a professional blender, and a professional coffee grinder) we are helping to open here in Camiri... yet another blog... We were so happy to see our friend, Mark Mattix and another family from Santa Cruz, who came to pick us up with a truck and trailer and an extra car to take us to the New Tribes Guest House.

No matter how you do it there is nothing easy about traveling with eleven people internationally. We have gotten pretty good at it. We have learned to carry on as little as possible (less to forget on the airplane!), make sure to take a jacket and some blankets for those cold flights and long layovers, and most of all lots of prayers for sanity and safety!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Camping at Diamond Lake

The week before we left for Bolivia we reserved five days to go camping at Diamond Lake, a favorite spot for our family to camp from way back. It was such an amazing time and such a great way to end our time in the States! 

Emily and Myles
"Fishing Buddies"

"Look who I got, Mama!"

Paula loved fishing too!

Swimming and Boating!
One of the mornings, Adriana woke up with a sting under her right eye. She was almost unrecognizable. We put "mud" (diatomaceous earth) on it to help with the swelling.
Smile with no eyes!

Yep, it was that swollen!

One of the many fish caught by these two!

Outside Naptime!

So sweet!

Adriana sleeping outside the hot tent for her nap.

Ah, this is the life!

Daddy, always hard at work!

Bike riding time!
We rented bikes for some of us and rode around the lake; about an 11 mile ride that is absolutely beautiful! R. Clancy, Rudi, Me, Clara, Ruth, and Myles

Carla, Clara, and Myles
Pausing during our bike ride for a picture in front of Mt. Thielsen

A beautiful Mt. Thielsen picture
Along the way we found a huge patch of wild huckleberries. We stopped to pick a few!

Rudi picked the whole bush!!! Look close
and you will see the tiny berries.
I loved this series of pictures of Rudi and Peter and the Fish! Enjoy!
So proud of "his" catch...

Yep, he's a beauty!

Don't you think so, Daddy?
We also were able to spend one morning at Crater Lake.
The Crew in front of Crater Lake

And a picture with me in it to prove I was there also!

Beautiful Clara

My lovely daughters
Emily and Ruth

In the lodge

Adriana enjoying the fire

Pretty Paula

Clara, Ruth and Paula
These four went for a ride around the lake again, while the rest of us headed out to watch Myles fly fish. We practically got eaten by mosquitos, so we had to high tail it back to the van and the more "civilized" side of the lake!
Off to ride bikes. 

David and Paula off to do some fishin'!
Clara and Clancy
Another pair of fishing buddies

A view of our campsite right on the lake.

Ruth blowing bubble for the littles.

Smores are the best!

Loving those chilly mornings by the campfire!
And now for pictures of some of the fish that were caught!
Clara with a prize winner Trout

Myles with a few of his winners

Ruth showing off her catch

And even Paula got in on the action,
catching, I think, three fish!!
Some of the fish were cleaned at the cleaning station, but most were cleaned by Myles and always as the sun was going down or gone. Don't ask me why?!
Myles, cleaning fish by lantern light
For Myles' 16th birthday we rented a boat from the lodge. It was kept busy all day. Even Rudi and I took a turn in it!
Fun in the fishing boat!

Emily driving the boat!

Rudi and I pretending to fish... We didn't get any bites!
For Myles' birthday we also invited Grandpa and Grandma B. and Uncle Ben up to spend the afternoon and night with us. It was lots of fun to have them come up and join us. We had a fabulous fish fry. A welcome addition after four days of "camp" food, was Grandma B's fresh garden veggies!!
Getting the fish ready for dinner with Uncle Ben.

Returning the boat and giving Grandma B. a turn.
Rudi with his Mommy!

Grandpa B. and Myles solving the world's problems

After dinner Myles opened his gifts and then we all sang around the campfire. It was great to have in addition to our "band", Grandpa B. on the accordion and Uncle Ben on the bass.
Myles opening his gifts, as the sun goes down.

One last breakfast at the lake!

Ruth, Uncle Ben, and Grandpa B. 
All too soon it was time to head for home and get our camping gear put away for another two years or so... We miss it already!!