Thursday, January 28, 2010

At the Park

A few pictures from a day at the park last wk

She is ALWAYS singing!

BEST buddies! These two little girls came into Casa de Amor last spring together - they're not related, but we think that they probably knew each other when they lived on the street, as an older sibling of one of the girls seemed to know the other. They are both 2 and have a LOT of fun together - always fun to see them playing. The girl in the pink stripes is getting ready to move to House 2 to be with her older brother there, but we'll have to make sure that these two still get plenty of playtime together!

There's not much quiet time with these two chattering and singing whenever they're together - this is what we listened to for our entire car ride! :)

And in case you were wondering, we've definitely got some Titans fans here at Casa de Amor. Looks like we won't be tuning into the superbowl this year, unfortunately, because 1.) this guy doesn't even want to see Peyton and the colts in Miami, or 2.) we don't have tv?

Next year, Titans.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Visit with the Padres

Oh yes...Alan & Crea finally got to visit Bolivia!

They had separate flights, and Mom got here a few days before dad.

We had a little celebrating to do! Some of my fave tias prepared an amazing dinner for us, and then we had a wild and crazy game night. (Note - I have played "Bingo" more times in 2010 than I think I have in my entire life. If that doesn't say wild and crazy, I don't know what does.)

Saturday morning, I was woken up by a bunch of ninos singing "Happy Bee-yer-tay" and then we got to eat the biggest piece of chocolate cake imaginable...before 7am! (Katrina made an absolutely INCREDIBLE cake, btw.)

And shortly thereafter, things took a turn for the worse.

Oh yes - the other group of tias wouldn't let me escape Bolivian traditions...eggs and flour, just for me.

Oh, but the celebrating didn't stop there...these ridiculous friends pulled off a huge surprise. We spent all afternoon at beautiful Pairumani park - with pinatas, a hike to a waterfall, Tinkerbell decor, and the best foods ever...not to mention los mejores amigos EVER.

The masterminds...what punks.

A little hike with pretty great views

So - pretty much the greatest day ever.

Then, dad got here, and we headed to La Paz with mom.

Lake Titicaca


The Fountain of Youth, of course

We were gone for a few days and then got to spend time in Cochabamba. Thanks to some very, very generous Christmas donations from family and friends, we were able to do a little shopping for some very special kiddos:

(And yep...the 2 year old in front was just as happy with her toy stroller!)

How we roll at Casa de Amor:

We also got some park time in with our visitors, too.

With some of the church gang this week

So, huge shoutout to my maybe insane teacher, Angelica...Angelica introduced me to our church here, and after the service on Sunday afternoons, she invites me and however many kids are with me to eat lunch at her house. (No easy task considering that it's never less than 5 kids running around her house and making a mess at her table! Our kids are OBSESSED with "Tia Angelica" - they LOVE getting to go to her house, and they especially love getting to see her at church each week.

Thanks Mamita y Papito for such a special week!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What's in a name?

Our oldest little girl, (5), is starting to learn el alfabeto, one letter at a time.

She wrote her name for the first time this week, (we're still working on S's...) and she is a VERY enthusiastic little student!

Practicing, practicing, practicing

She will be the first in the Baby Home to start KINDERGARTEN next month! She is already telling me all about the friends she'll make in school and how excited she is. I'm excited for her, too!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Pool Party (again!)

All you people freezing your tails off in the US might appreciate the fact that we are having lots of fun in the sun here in Cochabamba! Pool parties in January are a first for me, and I'm loving every minute! One of my friends was housesitting for people with a pool, and they were brave enough to let me bring over our older kids. Another friend brought over kids from his all-boys' home as well, so as you can imagine, we had a crazy fun time all together. None of our kids here can swim, so I wouldn't call it a relaxing day for anyone over the age of 5, but the kids are constantly asking when we're going back. Hopefully the homeowners will take another trip soon?! :)

Snack time at the pool - always the best

If you're reading this and craving a little pool-time instead of being in all that snow, you should probably go ahead a book a little flight down to visit. We'll even let you get in the pool without a floatie.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Step By Step...

So just wanted to share one of the best things that's happened over the holidays here at Casa de Amor...

So I can't choose favorite kids, but this little guy just lights up the room all the time. I'm sure I've posted pictures of him before - he's a very sweet-tempered 2 year old, loves his star mobile around his crib and playing ball, and practicing walking!

My buddy has cerebral palsy, so this has been a slow-moving process, but we are definitely seeing progress! Right around Christmas, he began standing up by himself (videos below,) and has since started taking a few steps. I don't know who's more or him! More updates on this guy SOON!

He may have forgotten what we were doing in this video!


Post-Christmas Mission Trip

2 days after Christmas, my church here took roughly 30 people to the mountain village of Lapiani for a few days of working, relationship-building, and quality time with each other, too. The church collected an unbelievable amount of goods to deliver to the people here - clothes, food, medicine, and toys - it was pretty neat to see the huge truck that we used absolutely packed with supplies to deliver. We were divided into "comisiĆ³nes" that included a veterinary team, a dental team, a medical team, feet and hair washing teams, and a team that entertained children. It was pretty clear that God was at work among the many different people together in tiny Lapiani.

See the rooftop in the center of the photo? That's basically Lapiani!

You'd be surprised how many people and things (pots, backpacks, barbies?!) fit in the back of the truck!

Some of the Comunidad Cristiana Belen gang

One of our medical assistants