Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Another Trip to Santa Cruz

All dressed up for the concert!
L. to R.
Myles, Clancy, Rudi, Emily, Clara, Diana, Paula, Priscila, and Ruth
Around the middle of December, last year, we all took a family trip up to Santa Cruz. It was the first time out of Camiri for many of our kids, since arriving in August. We figured out that some of our kids hadn't seen a stop light in over four months or a stop sign, for that matter; all of the intersections in Camiri are governed by the "May the best man win" concept and unwritten, but known (or learned!), right of way "laws"!! It was really good to get out of small town land and take in some culture. Santa Cruz feels like the U.S. to me after living in Camiri. It was good to get a "taste of home" before heading back to the boon docks!

One of the reasons we wanted to go is because our friends had invited us to a concert put on by their music teachers. I really wanted to go, but came down with an illness that kept me very close to the restroom for about four days! The morning we were going to leave is when it all started. Thanks to cornstarch, I was able to make the four hour trip to Santa Cruz without mishap, but then it all came back with a vengeance as I was getting ready for the concert. I opted to stay home. Rudi went and took our five oldest children. Our friends had also arranged for a baby sitter to come and watch the four youngest. I enjoyed a somewhat relaxing time... when I wasn't in the bathroom, that is!!

From all reports the concert was a success. It was put on by a trio. The gentleman who plays the violin is from Czechoslovakia and teaches our friend, Diana. The two women are sisters and are from the Ukraine. They play the piano and cello. They played a combination of classical and contemporary pieces.
At the concert!
After the concert our days were spent shopping, spending time with our friends, or at the guest house.
Story time at the guest house.
One of the afternoons we spent at our friend's house. Marco and Sandra have three children Diana (16), Priscila (14), and Mateo (7). We met them right before going back to the States last year and really hit it off with them. Diana plays the violin really well with music and by ear. She actually kept our violins at her house while we were in the States. Marco and Sandra have shown us all around Santa Cruz and helped us find furniture, etc. They are very kind and hospitable. They are our best friends in the Santa Cruz area. Our children really hit it off as well. They had us over for lunch and we spent the whole afternoon at their house. Their community has a pool which our kids, of course, super enjoyed!
The boys enjoying the toys!!

Foosball anyone?
Sandra is such a gracious hostess, making me a special soup for my upset stomach! Everyone else enjoyed a veritable feast of chicken legs and thighs is a special sauce, scalloped potatoes, steamed broccoli and carrots, and rice!!
Ruth taking in the feast!

The children's table
Mateo is on Peter's left!

Table for the adults...

Audri and Paula my litte fish!

Clancy underwater, Ruth and Clara having a grand time in the pool!!
Our last day Rudi took Myles, Clancy, Clara, Ruth and Paula to the Santa Cruz Zoo with Sandra and her children. They had a great time and came back with lots of pictures!! You'll have to humor me as I included way to many pictures of the birds, but I just loved them all!!
Beautiful Birds

I guess the monkey's were super lively and put on a good show for everyone! This is their native habitat, so I am sure they felt at home! One thing that struck me was that this zoo had only animals that would live in this area. All the animals looked really healthy because of that!
A monkey's life!!

Another monkey!!

Loads of turtles

Alligator on parade

The kids that went from L. to R.
\Priscila, Mateo, Paula, Ruth, Diana, Clancy, Clara, and Myles
One last story about this trip to Santa Cruz. While we were there, our Supernatural Powered Van broke down. Marco took us all to their house and then took Rudi to find a mechanic. The mechanic pulled Rudi in our van, through crazy third world traffic to his shop. Rudi said that it was a random shop in a "non-mechanic" area of the city, that looked like they specialized in fixing motorcycles, rather than cars. Rudi proceeded to wait for about two hours for the car to get fixed. I am not sure when in the time Rudi told the man that he would like to share the Gospel with him and his family, but Rudi told him that he would pay an extra 50 bolivianos if he would allow him to share with them. As it was a normal Bolivian family, there were at least three generations sharing the home, as well as a cousin or two!! It is also normal that the home was behind or along side where they worked on the vehicles. Rudi asked to borrow a Bible and the man brought him a gigantic Catholic Bible that had probably never been read before! Rudi shared the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ with everyone listening intently and respectfully. I know that our van breaking down, where and when it did, was a divine appointment! Since it is powered by God, it makes sense that he would have it to break down and set up another opportunity to share the gospel here!!:)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Happy 2017... Continued!

 Here is the blog that I wanted to post New Years Day, but, obviously, didn't get around to finishing it in time!! It is a short update on each of our children! We are so blessed by each of them each day and are so thankful for each one of the arrows in our quiver.

"Lo children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5
 Peter, (2 yrs 9mo) our precious baby boy. So many days we ask ourselves, "What if we hadn't adopted this one?" We just can't imagine life without his bright cheerful ways. His personality has really started to develop and he loves to show off and be the life of the party!! He plays very well by himself. I love to watch him stack his blocks or play with his little tractor and people, very quietly and seriously. This guy loves to sing. A lot of times when he is in bed winding down for his nap or for the night, he will just be belting a song out at the top of his voice! He is truly bilingual and if asked a question in English, he responds in English. If asked in Spanish, he responds in Spanish. Most of the time he speaks his very own language that no one (except Clara, and I think she imagines that she knows!!) can understand. So does that make him trilingual? He knows most of the parts of his body in English and Spanish and can consistently count to three!! We hope that he will include going the bathroom in the toilet as a new skill in 2017! We think he is a genius and the cutest thing ever! Yes, we are thankful and blessed to be the parents of this little guy. (I don't know why blogger changed to this font... sigh!)
Peter Anthony
        Adriana, (3 yrs 10 mo) our daughter full of life and snuggles. She brightens our days with her sunny smile and just adorableness. She is quite the little mommy, making sure that everyone is behaving and doing things fairly. She loves to be a good mommy to her dollies, as well and plays with Paula for hours on end. Adriana loves to sing and has gotten much better this past year at singing in tune. The other day David, Adriana, and Peter were in the living room with our Spanish hymnals singing "Santo, Santo, Santo"(Holy, Holy, Holy) at the top of their voices. It was super precious!! Adriana is a great helper and can dry dishes and fold clothes very well for her age. While I haven't started school formally with her she knows most of her colors and can count to ten in English and Spanish. She still much prefers to speak Spanish, but her English is nearly perfect when she does speak it. Her favorite game is Memory and at least once a day she asks to play it with me. She also loves to read books! She is such a wonderful addition to our family and we are so thankful that God has made her ours!                    

Adriana Dolores
David, (4 yrs, 11 mo) our super sweet and smart son. We are so thankful for, David. God has taught us so much about who we are with this little guy (lost without Him). Daily we are on our knees asking for wisdom and strength to work with this child. And it is no surprise that God has answered and helped us, we have come so far together. David is so quick and smart, always two steps ahead of us! He has started to really want to speak English with us. He also is learning how to write his name and his numbers. Quite competitive, he wants to win when he plays games, but he is learning how to be a gracious loser! All our three littles love playing with Cherry our dog, but it is not uncommon to find David outside laying down beside Cherry, just snuggling up against her! David is a good, diligent worker and when given a job he sees it through. He is also naturally organized and likes to keep his things tidy. I hope we don't undo that natural tendency!! There are a lot of very loud fireworks both Christmas Eve at midnight, and then also, New Years Eve at midnight. Christmas Eve, David woke up crying for fear of the noise. I have to admit I was even scared at first, it sounded like a war zone. Christmas Eve I brought him into bed with Rudi and me until things quieted down. When I picked him up off his bunk bed, he clung to me with his arms and legs for dear life! New Years Eve, he didn't cry as loudly as before, and when I picked him up to get him down from his bunk, he didn't cling to me at all, but trotted right to my bed and snuggled up between Rudi and me! I can finally say that after almost exactly a year and a half after the adoption, that I am totally bonded with David and he feels like my son completely. We are so proud and thankful for this little guy!
David Michael
 Paula, (7yrs) our precious daughter and ray of sunshine. This gal has LOVED having little siblings added to the family. She still enjoys playing quietly by herself, but most of the time she is in the middle of the action bossing and loving her little bros and sisters. She declares that she is "lonely" during nap time when the littles are sleeping! Paula is a big help around the house and does her chores well and thoroughly. This year, Paula has been bitten by the reading bug and if she gets her hand on a new book she can be found reading, reading, reading until it is done. She also is very good at memorizing scripture and will show up at the table and surprise us with a verse she has memorized. Paula prayed this past year to accept the Lord Jesus as her Saviour and has showed maturing in her young spiritual walk. She is super easy for me to teach in all of her subjects, catching on very fast. Paula is not shy at all and makes friends wherever she goes. Full of life and energy, we are so thankful for Paula!
Paula Jane
 Ruth, (9yrs) our darling snuggle bug and chatterbox, of whom we are very proud! Ruth has become my right hand gal these past months. She is one of the first to offer a hand with making lunch, cleaning up, or helping with the never ending mountain of laundry, as well as playing and working with her little siblings! Ruth has started playing the fiddle and has really taken off. She also is learning to crochet from an older lady here in Camiri named Edith. She loves to spend time at Edith's house chatting up a storm with her! Ruth is a very warm welcoming person that Bolivians really seem to love. They always comment on her blue eyes and light colored hair! She is quite gracious to accept the attention they give, because at times it is a bit much. She however takes it all in stride!! Ruth accepted the Lord Jesus as her Saviour this year and was baptized this past May. She is faithful to read her Bible each morning and her joyful spirit attests to the Lord working in her life. She is usually the first to get her schoolwork done each day and is another easy student, catching on quickly! Ruth is my afternoon exercise buddy and is fun and easy to be around! We are so thankful for our Ruth.
Ruth Marie
 Clara, (11 yrs, 11mo) is becoming a lovely young woman. Clara is so gifted with the younger children that you could call her a "Child Whisperer!" She is always willing to help and work with her siblings. She doesn't just baby sit, she also teaches them and makes learning fun and entertaining for them. Clara has many interests and likes to stay busy doing artistic things like painting and baking. While we were in the U.S. this past year she took some classes on watercolor painting thanks to Grams (my mother)! Since we have gotten back our friend, Edith has been showing her how to paint with acrylics on fabric. I will show you in another blog some of her creations. She also loves making cakes and decorating them, and coming up with fun craft ideas for the everyone to do together. Clara has really blossomed in her fiddle playing this past year. She is a quick and easy student to teach. Clara has also discovered that she likes to play volleyball and can often be found practicing against a wall in the house or off the roof!! I enjoy getting out and playing with her on occasion! She has quite a few pen pals, but misses having friends close by to be a part of her life. Clara was also baptized this past year and we have seen a real softness in her heart to the things God is teaching her. As Emily has been working more outside the house, I have come to rely on Clara for her help with so many things. She has really stepped up to the plate and I know I can count on her to follow through with jobs. I also know she will get the job done well! She is a real asset to our family and we are so thankful for her!!
Clara Grace

Clancy, (almost 14) our son who is super talented and smart. He is another one that keeps us on our toes and our knees in prayer! Clancy is our go to guy for anything that needs fixing, as he can usually think of a solution for anything. It helps that one of his long term hobbies has been taking things apart and putting them back together again! He has so many interests and is really good at all of them: photography, watercolor painting and pencil drawing, playing the piano, working with wood, computers, and electronics, gardening with an emphasis on herbs and herbology (That is a word. I just looked it up!). You notice that school and spelling were not included in that list! He is my hands on guy, but this past year he has really starting showing initiative to get his schoolwork done. I think it is mostly so he can get onto the real life learning that he is so good at! Clancy was baptized this past year, as well, sharing his testimony that he wanted to follow Jesus. We are blessed to see him maturing in his faith.
Side story: January 2016, Clancy started complaining about some wart things on his feet (I think they are called papalomas). I am sorry to say that I did not pay much attention, but in August they had become a real problem, to where he was complaining about walking on them. I think he had about eight of them all together. In September he started looking at various pharmacies for medicine to kill them. Around the end of September I was convicted to start praying that God would just heal his feet and take them away, as we could never seem to get the medicine. If you read my blog about Shopping Camiri, you will know the reasons why!! Anyway, I told him one morning that I was praying that God would supernaturally heal his feet. He gave me a funny look like I was over the top or something, but didn't say anything. Both of our faith's took a growth leap when he came to me about three weeks later and told me that the warts were GONE!!! No medicine, just God's healing touch!! Praise the Lord!
We are so thankful for Clancy and are so proud of the godly young man he is becoming!
Clancy Douglas
Myles, (16) our responsible and very capable son. We are enjoying the fruit of our labors by having our children become our very good friends. It is such a blessing to have our son encourage us in our walk with the Lord, by sharing a timely verse or thought. As well as challenging us ( in a respectful way!) in our faith. Myles shot up this past year and is now slightly taller than Rudi. We also are thrilled that his voice has deepened into a real nice bass! Rudi, Emily, Myles, and I have been able to sing some four part harmony songs together and that has been a lot of fun for all of us! Myles also has lots of interests including, but not limited to: woodworking, making belts, Bible covers, and carving pictures in leather. studying and finishing up his high school, exercising, car mechanics, welding, and gardening. He is a big help around the house often pitching in without being asked. Uncle Mark Mattix taught Myles how to drive a motorcycle this past year. Of course, Myles loved that! I think we will see a lot more driving going on this year of both motorcycles and cars. Myles is another fix-it man for our family. It seems like here in Bolivia we always have something to be fixed, as everything is so cheaply made it just doesn't hold up. Yesterday's project was putting our front door handle back together... again! Taking after his father, Myles is one of the first up in the morning, usually 5:30 a.m., to read his Bible and write in his journal. Although, he doesn't practice as much as he should, Myles' fiddle playing is really coming along. He and Rudi have enjoyed going to the local Plaza and playing their instruments and sharing the gospel there. Myles has also shown a real knack for entertaining the younger kids this past year. I know that whatever he sets his hand to he will do well and thoroughly. We are so thankful for and proud of our oldest son!
Myles Caleb
Emily,(18 yrs, 10 mo) our full of talent and wonderful oldest daughter. As I mentioned before in Myles' section, Emily also has become a very good friend to us. More than a daughter, she has become a trusted advisor, encourager, and sister-in-Christ. We are so thankful for the decisions she is making in her life and her waiting on the Lord and hearing from him. Emily graduated from High School officially last year, but is waiting so see what further education, if any, God might have for her. Meanwhile, Emily keeps very busy teaching English and working at Coffee Mattix. In 2015, Emily took an online ESL course (teaching English as a second language). She started an English school called "Y.E.S, Your English Source" in October, 2016. She has had consistently around ten students between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. She is a natural teacher and makes learning English fun. Emily has also taken a leading role in managing and helping with Coffee Mattix since our arrival here in Camiri. She works at the coffee shop around four days a week and has also stepped up to the plate when the owner is traveling, to be in charge of the money and making sure all goes smoothly while he is gone. Music continues to play a large part in Emily's life. She is a gifted song and lyrics writer. After she writes a song, she then records it with a hokey program on our Mac and a couple microphones. It comes out sounding pretty amazing. I would love to see what she could pull off with real equipment!! She continues to play the ukelele, cello, piano, guitar, and recently made a Peruvian Cajon with Myles to play as well! When Emily is home and has time, she pitches in with the cooking, cleaning, and anything else that needs doing. She has learned how to cook up some amazing food from our limited resources here and since cooking is one of my least favorite things to do, especially here, this earns some pretty big brownie points from me!! Serious when she needs to be, Emily also has a great sense of humor and likes to make us all laugh. Much needed on the mission field I assure you! Emily is our resident computer tech. If we ever have a problem with computers, which is often, she comes to the rescue time and time again. She is also very patient with her parents old fashioned ideas of very limited electronics. She has wanted to join the i-Phone crowd for quite some time now, but has listened to our request for her to not have a smart phone and hasn't even complained... very much!! Emily has been writing a book in her "spare time."  It is based in both in a small town like our, Yoncalla and in Cochabamba, Bolivia. It is going to be a winner. I will let you all know, of course, when it is ready to purchase! Emily has bloomed where she has been planted. She was our original "biggest balker"to the idea of coming to Bolivia, but has been the first to say that it has turned to be a blessing in her life. What a blessing our oldest daughter is to us. We are so thankful for Emily every day!
Emily Jo
This is such a hard blog to write, because each day I think of another thing to add about one or each of the kids. Hence, their paragraph's have grown over the past week when I first started this blog. I know the minute I punch the publish button I will think of something else (just did and I am back editing!!). Or I start thinking about how maybe I raved about one child more than the other, or how two or three or all of the children share the quality that I am writing about another child. You get the picture. My cup is so full and running over that I could go on and on all day about how great EACH of my children are and how much I love them until 2018 and not run out of things to say... but I will spare you and punch the publish button!!!

I also don't want you to get the picture that my children are perfect. They aren't... they take after me!!! We have our good days and bad days just like anyone else. We all know that we can be as mean, selfish, or sinful as the next guy. We are so thankful that we have a Saviour that came to save us from our sins. Hallelujah!!! And we know that apart from him we cannot do or be anything of value. John 15:5 "I am the vine (Jesus), ye (you) are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

Our sons

Our daughters 
About the pictures. They were all taken by Clancy with Clancy's camera, with the exception of the pictures that he is in. The poses were a joint effort of Clancy and Emily's ideas. The location is at Hebron, Camiri, Bolivia. All of the pictures in this blog were given to me as a New Years gift in custom frames made by Emily (with some help from Myles and Clancy!). These pictures were originally just intended for my gift, but I wanted to share them all with you!
And the whole group together!
Okay, here goes, I am clicking on that publish button NOW!!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy 2017

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year! 
"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost." Romans 15:13
The Rudi and Carla Booher Children
L. to R.
Clara, Peter, Paula, Emily, David, Ruth, Adriana, Myles, and Clancy